Prosecutors in eastern Pennsylvania plan to seek the death penalty in the trial of a woman accused of giving birth in a sports bar bathroom, wrapping the newborn in a plastic bag and hiding him in a toilet tank.
Northampton County District Attorney John Morganelli said Wednesday that 27-year-old Amanda Hein of Allentown deserves to be executed because she killed a child.
Police say that Hein suffocated her baby with a plastic bag and then put the baby in the tank of a toilet in the woman's restroom inside Starters Pub in Lower Saucon Township last August.
Northampton County District Attorney John Morganelli says Hein was at the pub with three men on the night of Aug. 18 to watch a pay-per-view event.
One of the men she was with that night told police that at one point she excused herself to go to the restroom and didn't return for an "extended period of time," according to Morganelli.
"He and the others became concerned about her and texted her to see if she was OK," said Morganelli.
Authorities say that Hein went into labor and had the baby in the restroom. Luis Rivera, one of the men Hein was with that night, told police she returned from the bathroom stained with blood. Rivera says she refused help, however, and didn't reveal what happened.
Investigators say Hein stayed at the pub for another hour and continued to watch the event before she left. A cleaning crew found the baby the next day in the toilet tank.
"Inside the tank was a fetus," pub owner David Rank told NBC10 Philadelphia.
"The baby was four to seven weeks early at the time of delivery," said Morganelli.
Hein is charged with criminal homicide.
Her public defender, Michael Corriere, said he expected that prosecutors would seek the death penalty. He didn't comment further.
Pennsylvania is one of 49 states that offer mothers safe -- and legal -- alternatives to abandoning their babies. The Safe Haven Law allows parents to relinquish babies at any hospital in the state without fear of criminal prosecution, provided that the child is unharmed.
Starters Pub is a popular spot in the Lehigh Valley and served as a landmark location for Eagles fans headed up to training camp since its founding in 2000 until the team moved training camp back to Philly this season.