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Thursday, Jan 31, 2008County: Saint Charles
Disposition: Not Charged
Person of Interest: Belinda Wells
Case Updates: 1 update(s) available
A New Sarpy woman was being held without bond Wednesday on a first-degree murder charge in the death of her newborn baby last week.
Belinda Wells, 24, told sheriff's deputies that she gave birth to the baby and buried it in the backyard of her family's home. The body was found last Thursday by her boyfriend, the child's father, who called police.
He was questioned and later released.
Judge Emile St. Pierre of the 29th Judicial District on Monday found probable cause for the charge against Wells and ordered her held without bond, said Regina Cyrus, spokeswoman for St. Charles Parish District Attorney Harry Morel Jr. Wells is being held in the Nelson Coleman Correctional Center in Killona.
What happens next depends on whether she is indicted by a parish grand jury, which by law must consider all first-degree and second-degree murder charges, Cyrus said.
Though an arraignment date, where Wells would be allowed to enter a plea in the case, is set for March 13, the date could be changed, depending on the grand jury's schedule, Cyrus said.
In another development, Midnight, the black mixed-breed Labrador retriever who was an initial suspect in the baby's death, has been adopted by a sheriff's deputy.
Midnight, who the family surrendered to the St. Charles Parish Animal Shelter after the baby's body was found near an area where the dog was chained inside a pen, would likely have been euthanized had she not been adopted, Animal Shelter Director Angie Robert said.
"We are not going to let an animal suffer with heartworms," Robert said. "It's very painful and it's almost always fatal."
But Lt. Pam Schmitt, a victim's assistance officer who also investigates animal cruelty cases, said the severely underweight dog would make a good pet. She plans to treat the dog for heartworms and nurse it back to health.
"She's a cupcake," Schmitt said. "All she needs is love and enough food to eat."
Schmitt said once Midnight is returned to good health, she will look for someone else to adopt the dog.
"She needs a big yard to run around in," Schmitt said.
|A New Sarpy woman who allegedly buried her newborn baby in the back yard of the family home pleaded innocent by reason of insanity Thursday in state district court in Hahnville.|
Belinda Wells, 24, told St. Charles Parish sheriff's deputies that she hid her pregnancy from her extended family who lived with her in her parents' home and delivered the baby alone at home in late January, covering the blood stains on the bed with clothing.
She told the deputies that she buried the baby in the back yard because the newborn had stopped crying and was dead.
The family dog, Midnight, dug up the baby's body and mangled it several days later.
Wells also pleaded innocent to animal cruelty charges.
Her court-appointed attorney, Benjamin Sanders, asked Judge Emile St. Pierre to allow a forensic psychologist to interview Wells, who is being held without bond in the St. Charles Parish jail.
St. Pierre declined the motion, saying that such requests should be made to the Sheriff's Office.
|Source: Nola.Com - March 13, 2008|
Update posted on Mar 13, 2008 - 2:57PM
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