ST. LOUIS (AP) — A Missouri mother who reported that her infant twins were stillborn has been convicted of manslaughter.
Maya Caston, 28, was convicted Friday of second-degree involuntary manslaughter and two counts of child endangerment. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that jury found her guilty of lesser charges instead of convicting her of second-degree murder.
Prosecutors argued that Caston's lack of action to get care for the babies showed that she caused the deaths. And her extensive internet searches for miscarriages and abortion methods before she gave birth demonstrated that she didn't want the babies.
The evidence showed that Caston searched Google for “cheap abortion pills,” “free abortion clinic” and “can you cause a miscarriage if you hit yourself in the stomach hard enough?” After she gave birth, Cason researched if you can bury a baby in a back garden.
Caston told the jury that she had planned to give the babies up for adoption at a doctor's appointment three days after they were born, but by that time, the babies had died after not eating.
“We have two dead babies. She didn’t want them. She didn’t care for them,” Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Thomas Dittmeier said in closing arguments. “She didn’t even give them a name.”
Caston’s public defenders argued that she has an intellectual disability and didn’t understand the risk to the infants.
“I was in shock. I didn’t know what to do,” she told the jury.