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Bond is upheld in death of baby boy

October 01, 2002|by JULIE E. GREENE

julieg@herald-mail.com

A Washington County District judge on Monday afternoon upheld the $400,000 bond for a Hagerstown woman charged in the death of her baby son soon after he was born prematurely in her home.

Patricia Ann Stotelmyer, 25, of 28 Wakefield Road, has been held on $400,000 bond at the Washington County Detention Center since Friday when she was charged in the Sept. 21 death.

During a bond review, Stotelmyer answered Judge R. Noel Spence's questions via video conference from the Washington County Detention Center. The petite blond woman sat at a table, dressed in a khaki inmate uniform, and softly spoke to Spence.

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When Spence asked if she had anything to say during her bond review, Stotelmyer said, "Just that I've never been in trouble before." She told Spence she has been working in the same place for three years and has two children.

"It may be a while until you see those children," Spence said.

Spence said he agreed with Assistant Washington County State's Attorney Viki Pauler's recommendation that he maintain Stotelmyer's bond at $400,000.

While Stotelmyer had no prior criminal record, Pauler said this was a "very serious crime."

Stotelmyer had told Spence she could not make bond.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Oct. 24.

Stotelmyer was charged with second-degree murder, manslaughter, reckless endangerment, child abuse resulting in death and child abuse, Hagerstown City Police said.

She was charged after an autopsy determined a baby boy born about two months prematurely had died by asphyxiation, according to charging documents in Washington County District Court.

Hagerstown police found the baby's body concealed in a grocery bag with a wet towel wrapped around his head and part of his body when they searched Stotelmyer's home on Sept. 22, according to charging documents.

The baby's body was found in the kitchen in a tied grocery bag that had been placed in a trash bag with other trash, according to charging documents.

Police were sent to Stotelmyer's home to find the baby after Stotelmyer went to Washington County Hospital to be treated for hemorrhaging, police said.

At the hospital, Stotelmyer denied having been pregnant or having a miscarriage, charging documents state.

The Department of Social Services took custody of Stotelmyer's two sons, ages 3 and 8, following her arrest, police said.

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