Centralia woman gets 30 years for decapitating premature infant

Wednesday, February 22, 2012 at 3:39 pm
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Laura Lynn Hickey looks back toward her family as she learns someone will address the judge on her behalf.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter


CHEHALIS – A judge gave Laura Lynn Hickey thirty years in prison today, for what her attorney said his client viewed as a mercy killing after her approximately 21-weeks-along fetus was unexpectedly delivered into a toilet.

Hickey, 25, admitted she cut off its head with a kitchen knife.

Lewis County Superior Court Judge Nelson Hunt said the case set a new low, but declined to hand down the 80 year sentence the prosecutor asked for.

“In my view, the defendant is only a threat to her own children, and her release will be past her further ability to bear children,” Hunt said.

The Centralia woman had pleaded guilty second-degree murder.

The standard sentencing range for the crime was between about 12 years to 20 years, although because the victim was particularly vulnerable, Hickey could have been locked up for life.

Hickey was about halfway through her pregnancy last March when she gave birth alone in her Centralia trailer home. She told detectives she grabbed the baby from the toilet, saw he was gurgling and trying to take a breath, according to charging documents.

“She indicated to police she couldn’t stand by and watch it suffer, and die,” defense attorney Ken Johnson told the judge this morning.

Johnson noted his client’s state of mind was impaired, and not only from drugs.

Attorneys disagreed if the infant boy was far enough along it could have survived outside the womb.

It weighed .85 pound and was less than 10-inches long, according to the lawyers involved.

Lewis County Prosecutor Jonathan Meyer said the baby “had taken a breath, at least one breath.” Johnson said Dr. William Brady was of the opinion the baby would not have survived.

More than 30 people sat in the Chehalis courtroom this morning, including Hickey’s mother, step-father and other family.

Her grandmother Nancy Wood asked the judge for some leniency.

“Laura’s never been in trouble,” Wood said. “She was a good mother, a good provider, until drugs came into the factor.”

The father of the child, Matthew Emery recommended she serve 10 years.

His written comments to the judge were read aloud; he sat with red-rimmed eyes next to a jail guard in the courtroom. What he is in custody for wasn’t mentioned.

Emery said said he still loves Hickey, but he doesn’t think he will ever understand what she did.

“I forgive you for what have done, and I don’t say this lightly,” Emery wrote.

Prosecutor Meyer said it was a crime so heinous, Hickey should lose the ability to “walk among us.” He described to the judge a variety of excuses by Hickey, saying she did not want the child.

Defense attorney Johnson asked for the low end of the standard sentencing range, saying she is a good candidate for rehabilitation and all he was asking was for a second chance.

Johnson acknowledged calling it a mercy killing is not a defense, but said it was an explanation, if there was an explanation.

“Laura realizes her explanations are totally inadequate,” Johnson said. “She made a mistake and must pay the consequences.”

Hickey addressed Judge Hunt, although she was told she didn’t have to.

She apologized, but said she would accept whatever sentence he gave her. She asked him to give her a second chance at life.

“I’m sorry for what I’ve done, I’m sorry for the baby I never gave a chance,” she said. “I’m sorry for my drug use.”

Then she laid her head down on the defense table, and appeared to cry.

Hickey will also get a mandatory extra two years because the plea agreement included a deadly weapon enhancement.

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The family of Laura Lynn Hickey sit behind her as she is sentenced.

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11 Responses to “Centralia woman gets 30 years for decapitating premature infant”

  1. me says:

    @Vickie: Diane Downs

    It will be pretty interesting how the state will handle it if she does get pregnant again. If she has an abortion, she should be able to take her case back to court. I agree with DJ – charge her for the drug use.

  2. Vicki says:

    I am very interested in learning how DSHS prevents this girl from getting pregnant. I am sure DSHS would be very happy to have a method of making this happen. I am sure most mothers in the world would love to have this information as well.

  3. bustybabe says:

    I am certain that she wont survive in prison for what she did,,and then GOD will take care of her His WAY.. and i wanted to say that Lewis Co, Childrens Protective Services should be investigated themselves.i mean,why the fuck did they let her have this baby after taking her other ones from her? i hope the social workers cant sleep at night because of this,

  4. SickOfTweakers says:

    Judgmental – I feel sorry for her three other children as well . . . but don’t forget that they were taken away from their mother and placed in foster care. This means that the so-called father that sits in jail right now never stepped up to the plate and took on his responsibility. He left that for the state/taxpayers to do for him. He was obviously no better at parenting than their scumbag mother.

  5. SickOfTweakers says:

    bustybabe – I feel sorry for her three other children as well . . . but don’t forget that they were taken away from their mother and placed in foster care. This means that the so-called father that sits in jail right now never stepped up to the plate and took on his responsibility. He left that for the state/taxpayers to do for him. He was obviously no better at parenting than their scumbag mother.

  6. Nate says:

    30 years isn’t near enought! This bitch needs to meet the noose end of a rope! Im actually kinda surprised she got this much time with Jonathan Meyer as prosecuting attorney. He seems to really like these low life types!

  7. Judgmental says:

    Jackson – I’ve been saying the same thing. Doesn’t make her any better a person though. I feel bad for the other kids that now have two parents in jail.

  8. bustybabe says:

    @DAVID JACKSON, HOW DO YOU KNOW THAT BABY WOULDNT OF MADE IT?ARE YOU GOD?NO,,AND THAT BABY WAS HAD TAKEN HIS FIRST BREATH ALREADY SO HE WAS ALIVE AND INFANTS THAT PREMATURE HAVE BEEN KNOWN TO SURVIVE DESPITE ALL THE ODDS AGAINST THEM,I WANT TO ASK YOU ,DAVID,DO YOU HAVE CHILDREN? AND IF SO,WHAT IF THIS WAS YOUR CHILD? AND THE MOTHER OF YOUR CHILD DID THE SAME THING TO YOUR CHILD?WOULD YOU SAY “OH HE WOULDNT OF MADE IT ANYWAYS,JUST CHARGE HER FOR BEING ON DRUGS”? YOU AND I KNOW THE ANSWER TO THAT,,A BIG NO U WOULDNT SAY THAT,,U WOULD PROBABLY WANT THE WOMAN LOCKED UP FOR LIFE IF NOT THE DEATH PENALTY,,YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED FOR YOUR COMMENT,,

  9. David Jackson says:

    forget everything else, at the age of the baby it would have never made it anyway, although its sad it was probably less painful for the baby at that age anyway, murder is a bit to much concidering abortion is leagle even for much order babys, whats the differance? charge her on the drug use

  10. SickOfTweakers says:

    Don’t forget that before Laura Hickey murdered an infant, she had previously had all of her other children taken from her by the state because she was such a lousy mother. I find it odd that in the above article, the defendant’s grandmother, Nancy Wood, states:

    “Laura’s never been in trouble,” Wood said. “She was a good mother, a good provider, until drugs came into the factor.”

    The Washington Superior Court website shows that Hickey has at least fifteen other incidents where she was involved in some kind of legal action.

    We know she has had CPS come in and take away children she was neglecting or abusing. I assume the grandmother is lying to lessen the apparent severity of what this lowlife did to her own baby. Nobody who is even a marginal parent has their kids taken away from them. You have to be an unspeakably horrible caregiver before CPS will step in and do anything, especially when it concerns mothers who are already in the system.

    Last year after Hickey’s arrest, her step father was quoted as saying that he theorized that she might have done it because she was afraid the state was going to take this baby away “like they had all her other kids.” Are you kidding me?!?!?

    If your P.O.S. relative had been any kind of mother at all, and had not put meth before the well being of her children, she’d have still had custody of those other kids. Thank God she didn’t.

    Thirty years is much too light a sentence, but at least she will be held until she is too old to have any more babies to murder or force us taxpayers to support.

  11. onyresident says:

    this, THING, I cant even call her a human being, killed her own infant, premature, child by decapitation. In no way, shape, or form is this ok. She, by admission, cut off her own child’s head and hid it under a sink. My way of thinking, she deserves, at the very least, life in prison. At the most, eye for an eye. You took a life, you repay that. I hope you rot in hell you cold, heartless, inhuman, P.O.S.

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