A little over a year ago, you may recall a chilling story out of Muskingum University in Ohio. The sisters of Delta Gamma Theta found a dead baby outside of their house. At the time, no one knew whether it was a sister, a student, or just a random person who had abandoned and killed her child. In the past year, however, we learned a lot about this case. The mother of the baby (now named Addison) was Emile Weaver, a 21-year-old sister of the sorority. And now, she got her sentence of life in prison without parole for killing her baby.
The 21-year-old former Muskingum University student was found guilty in May of aggravated murder, abuse of a corpse and two counts of tampering with evidence. She was accused of placing her newborn baby in a small garbage can shortly after giving birth on April 22, 2015, and then wrapping it in a trash bag and leaving it outside her sorority house on campus. The baby died of asphyxiation, according to the preliminary autopsy report.
This alone is horrifying. But as more details emerged, it got even more gutwrenching. At the time of her sentence, she completely broke down, begging for forgiveness.
“I stand before you a broken-down woman, asking for forgiveness and mercy,” she said. “Words cannot express how sorry I am to my beautiful daughter Addison.”
But the judge, Mark Fleegle, stated that she did not seem remorseful in the slightest.
Fleegle said throughout the trial, evidence was heard that before and after she placed the baby in the trash, Weaver was more concerned with herself than her child. She told a detective she was more worried about her own health than that of her newborn.
“That does not show or verbalize any type of remorse,” Fleegle said.
Worse yet, according to reports, she texted the guy she believed was the father after the baby’s birth but before the body was found saying that the baby and the situation was, “taken care of.” The judge went on to say that in her statement, she said “I” 15 times, and that this was all about her — not the life she took.
It was also reported that while she was pregnant she smoked weed, drank, took pills, and even fell on her stomach in an effort to miscarry. But it wasn’t only the life of the baby the she messed up. The judge went on to say that the trauma she placed on her sisters is painful and lasting.
Addison was not the only victim of Weaver’s actions, the judge said. Her sorority sisters sent letters to his office detailing what their lives have been like since Addison’s death. Several have been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and anxiety disorders, and some have started using alcohol to cope.
One of Weaver’s sorority sisters, Moriah Saer, who testified during the trial that she woke early and heard the baby crying, though she did not know what it was, wrote a letter to Addison, apologizing for what happened to her. She wrote that Addison will always be in her heart.
“She wishes she’d broken down the door,” Fleegle said.
According to the evidence, Emile gave birth in the sorority house’s bathroom, before putting the baby in a bag and taking it out to the trashcan. The house manager of Delta Gamma Theta had sent out a mass text asking what happened in the bathroom after noticing blood and saying, “it looks like a murder scene.” Two sisters then found a heavy trash bag outside, and upon opening it, saw what they thought was a baby’s foot. After opening it further and discovering the baby, one of the sisters collapsed. Multiple sisters are still dealing with the traumatic events that occurred in their home.
Emile plans to appeal her case. But most people, including the jury who made the decision quickly, feel that, while there can never be true justice when a life is loss, this is the best verdict that could have come by.
As we mentioned last year, most states have a “safe haven” law. This means that women who give birth and feel like that can not care for their child can drop the baby off anonymously without being prosecuted. To learn more about this law and the specifics in your state, click here.
We hope that in time the grieving sisters and friends can find some peace and closure. If you’re experiencing anxiety, PTSD, or need to talk, students are encouraged to speak with a counselor. And we hope more than anything that nothing like this ever happens again..
Image via Fox 28