Jailed: Lindsey Lowe, now 26, faces to murder charges for her newborn twin sons but prosecutors are not seeking the death penalty
The mother who gave birth to twin boys on the toilet, smothered them and dumped their bodies in a laundry basket sobbed in court yesterday as the jury heard disturbing details about how officers found the cold, dead newborns wrapped in bloody towels.
Two police officers choked up while testifying about how they discovered the twin boys after the father of Lindsey Lowe, 26, from Hendersonville, Tennessee, called 911 after making the grizzly discovery.
She gave birth in her parents’ affluent home secretly in September 2011 and covered the newborn twin boy’s mouths with her hand to stifle the screams so no one would hear.
Officer Jeremy Fentress took the stand on Tuesday and described entering the bedroom of defendant Lindsey Lowe and pulling back a bloody towel.
He stopped speaking for a few seconds, then told the court: ‘After I pulled the bloody towel back, I saw a deceased infant.’
Fentress said he touched the baby with two fingers and found the infant was cold and not breathing.
The newborn was the first of two found on September 14, 2011, in the two-story home of the upper-middle-class neighborhood in Hendersonville, about 20 miles northeast of Nashville.
The second baby was found by Sgt James Garrett, who described getting ready to lay the first baby down on a bed ‘softly and gently’ before he discovered the umbilical cord, still attached to something deeper in the basket.
Fentress held the body of the first baby while Garrett pulled aside a sheet to uncover the second one – who was also dead. Garrett said he placed the first baby back in the basket beside his brother.
Defense: Her attorney John Pellegrin, seen at her side in an earlier hearing, is arguing that she did not know that she was pregnant and was not of sound mind when she smothered the newborns to death
Lowe, now 26, is facing two counts of first-degree murder at her trial, which opened Monday.
She had told police she gave birth to the twin boys in the bathroom of the home on the night of September 12, 2011, and smothered them so that her parents would not hear their cries.
Lowe’s parents found one of the babies two days later and alerted police.
Unusual: The weekend before the twins’ birth, Lowe was drinking and dancing at a friend’s wedding
Both sides in the case agree that Lowe did not act like a pregnant woman in the days and weeks leading up to the birth.
Defense attorney John Pellegrin told jurors Lowe was a bridesmaid in a wedding the weekend before the birth where she was dancing, laughing and posing for pictures.
The night before the births, one of her sorority sisters stayed at her house, even sleeping in Lowe’s bed, he said. And yet no one knew she was pregnant.
Prosecutors suggested that a lack of preparations showed Lowe never intended for the babies to live.
‘Officers, during their search of the house, found no evidence of an expectation of life,’ Assistant District Attorney Blanton said during opening statements.
‘There were no diapers, no pacis (pacifiers), no blankets, no car seat.’
They pointed out that Lowe had been engaged to her college sweetheart in 2011, but had gotten pregnant when she had an affair with another man.
‘Miss Lowe made no preparation for the births of these children because no one was going to interfere with her life,’ Blanton said in opening statements.
But defense attorneys argued that the case was not so simple.
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Court: Jury selection in the murder trial of Lindsey Lowe started Monday. She has pleaded not guilty
Diminished capacity: Defense lawyers’ requests to have psychologists testify as to Lowe’s mental state when she gave the statement were denied
‘Lindsey Lowe was pregnant, but she refused to accept it, her mind refused to accept it,’ Pellegrin said.
He argued that Lowe didn’t realize what was happening when she started to give birth in the bathroom.
‘She thinks her internal organs are coming out,’ he told the jury.
Family, friends and church members have come to Lowe’s defense.
In earlier hearings, Lowe’s father Mark Lowe described her as a ‘model daughter,’ saying she moved back in with her family after graduating from Western Kentucky University in 2008 and took care of her mother, who had a brain tumor.
The final witness Tuesday was Detective Steve Malach, who interviewed Lowe after the babies were discovered.
Upset: Lindsey Lowe cries as she listens to testimony while she sits with her attorney, John Pellegrin
He testified how Lowe told him she gave birth and then put the babies in a laundry basket.
When he asked if she ever checked on them, ‘she said she couldn’t face it,’ he told jurors.
If convicted of first-degree murder, Lowe could face life in prison without parole. Prosecutors had said previously they would not seek the death penalty.
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