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Tennessee woman accused of killing newborns won't testify

March 18th, 2013 11:18 pm by Associated Press

GALLATIN, Tenn. — A woman accused of killing her newborn twins told a court on Monday that she was waiving her right to appear as a witness in her own defense, because she could not handle taking the stand and testifying before a jury.


Lindsey Lowe waived those rights while under oath and on the witness stand, but out of the presence of the jury. Her lawyer asked her if she understood what she was doing and then asked her why.


“I just don’t feel like I can emotionally handle it,” she said, while fighting back tears.


The 26-year-old is accused of smothering her twin boys after giving birth in the bathroom in the family’s upper-middle-class neighborhood home on the night of Sept. 12, 2011. The Lowe home is in Hendersonville, about 20 miles northeast of Nashville.


She is charged with premeditated murder, felony murder and aggravated child abuse for each child in the trial that began last week.


Jurors are expected to hear closing arguments on Tuesday and could begin deliberating then.


Earlier in the day Lowe’s father took the stand and testified that he was he was so stunned when he saw a dead baby inside his home that he just froze.


“I was pretty much in shock,” Mark Lowe told the jury. “It was probably 15 minutes before I did anything.”


The father said nobody in the family had any idea that his daughter was pregnant and that he was completely unaware that she had given birth to the twin boys in a bathroom in his home.


He described his daughter, who attended Goodpasture Christian School and later received a college degree from Western Kentucky University, as a good girl who never gave her parents trouble.


Lowe’s mother discovered one of the twin boys inside a laundry basket on Sept. 14 and called for her husband. Marke Lowe said he called a family friend, a pastor and then police.


Prosecutors have said that Lindsey Lowe told police that she smothered the twins so her parents would not hear their cries. Her defense has said that is an idea that was planted by police because Lindsey Lowe was in no position to being interrogated after giving birth to the twins with no medical help.


Lindsey Lowe was engaged at the time, but the father of the twins was another man. The prosecution has argued that the babies would interfere with her plans to marry her fiance.


Her lawyers have said that Lindsey Lowe wanted to block out the idea of being pregnant, and said she didn’t even know she was giving birth until one of the babies came out in the toilet.


Jurors on Monday were shown pictures of Lindsey Lowe at a wedding days before she gave birth. Lacey Lowe, the defendant’s sister, testified that Lindsey Lowe, who was a bridesmaid, undressed in front of other women in the wedding party and she didn’t appear to be pregnant.


Before wrapping up, the defense accused Sumner County Criminal Court Judge Dee David Gay of being biased against Lindsey Lowe and asked him to declare a mistrial. Defense attorney John Pellegrin told the judge that he was hurrying the defense and claimed the judge showed bias when last week he told his client that he would not have her sitting there “acting like a child” after the woman became upset in court.


Courtroom proceedings ended on testimony from a Cordova psychologist who was called by Sumner County District Attorney General Ray Whitley as a rebuttal witness. Psychologist John Robert Hutson testified that Lindsey Lowe was suffering from severe depression at the time that she gave birth, but he felt like she could form the intent to commit premeditated murder. Hutson said Lowe suffered from severe depression when the twins were born and he was afraid she might hurt herself a year after giving birth. He said the woman’s depression dated back to after her mother was diagnosed with brain cancer.


His testimony contradicted a defense psychiatrist who told the jury that Lindsey Lowe lacked the mental capacity to commit of premeditated murder. Hutson also disagreed that Lindsey Lowe suffered from a dissociative disorder.

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