A Maryland woman convicted of suffocating her newborn baby boy was sentenced to 30 years in prison on Friday.
A jury agreed that Moira Akers, 41, was guilty of second-degree murder and first-degree child abuse in April of this year. She was facing life in prison. Howard County Circuit Court Judge Timothy J. McCrone sentenced her to a slightly lesser time behind bars.
Akers Suffocated Her Newborn Baby with a Ziploc Bag
The incident took place in November 2018 when moments after Akers' baby boy was born, she called for medical attention and was taken to a nearby hospital. She apparently intended on keeping the birth a secret – at least until she was confronted about her state of health by medical staff at Howard County General.
Police were then called to the hospital and the murder investigation started after they performed a welfare check.
"Through investigation, it was determined that Akers had recently given birth inside her home," the State's Attorney's Office previously said in a press release. "Investigators responded to the house to conduct a check on welfare and located a deceased, male newborn in a zipped plastic bag under a blanket in a closet with the door shut. Akers, when confronted with how the baby was found at that time, then responded that the baby was stillborn."
Autopsy Confirmed Baby was not a Stillborn
An autopsy was conducted on Nov. 2, 2018 and the report confirmed that the boy was not, in fact, stillborn, four months later. The report noted that the boy was "a "healthy, full-term baby and alive at birth," prosecutors said. The autopsy determined the child had died in the manner of homicide; his death was caused by asphyxiation and exposure.
Akers Googled 'How to Terminate a Pregnancy'
According to Baltimore CBS affiliate WJZ-TV, law enforcement claimed to have uncovered evidence that Akers conducted searches on the internet for how to terminate a pregnancy. During trial, the condemned woman maintained that her child was never alive. Jurors, however, did not buy that narrative.
"This was an extraordinarily difficult case from beginning to end," Howard County State's Attorney Rich Gibson told Law&Crime. "What we want people to remember is that Baby Akers' life, no matter how brief, mattered. I'm proud of the investigative efforts of our local police department and the dedicated prosecution of our attorneys who were able to give this innocent newborn a voice and some justice."