A woman on trial in the death of her newborn testified on Wednesday that she thought she was only three months pregnant when she gave birth in the bathroom of an eastern Pennsylvania bar and stuffed the baby in a toilet tank.
"At that point I thought I had more time to figure it out," an emotional Amanda Hein said during cross-examination by Northampton County District Attorney John Morganelli on the third day of her murder trial.
Hein, 27, of Allentown, testified she learned she was pregnant on June 12 when she went to a doctor for a urinary tract infection. She said she experienced bleeding in May, which she mistook for her menstrual cycle.
When she went into labor on Aug. 18 at Starters Pub in Bethlehem, she testified she thought she was having a bowel movement when she looked down and saw the baby's head emerge.
The baby, which came out quickly, was not moving, did not appear to be breathing and was a gray color, she said.
"Did the baby cry?" defense attorney Michael Corriere asked.
"No, there was no sound," Hein testified.
Hein said she "wasn't thinking, only reacting" when she placed the baby in a nearby garbage bag and hid the bag in the toilet tank of the bathroom stall.
"At the time you placed the baby in the bag, did you believe the baby was dead or alive?" Corriere asked.
"Dead," Hein responded.
Prosecutors said Hein concealed her pregnancy, used drugs and alcohol while pregnant and intentionally killed the child.
Prosecutors say Hein gave birth in a bathroom at Starters Pub then wrapped the newborn in a plastic bag and placed him in a toilet tank causing him to suffocate. Morganelli said 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.
An autopsy determined that baby, though severely underweight and suffering from pneumonia, breathed on its own for at least a few minutes and died from a combination of suffocation and being placed in the tank's cold water.
Hein has pleaded guilty to a general murder charge. The jury must decide if she should be convicted of first- or third-degree murder.
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 last summer.