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Woman pleads guilty to concealing baby's death



Published: Tue, July 9, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



NEW CASTLE, Pa. -- An Ellwood City woman accused of leaving her newborn son's body in a bag in the woods entered into a plea agreement with prosecutors rather than go to trial.

Cathleen Danielle Winterbottom, 20, of Portersville Road appeared Wednesday before Judge Dominick Motto and pleaded guilty to concealing the death of a child and abuse of a corpse, according to District Attorney Matthew Mangino.

She also pleaded no contest to conspiracy to abuse a corpse, Mangino said. Winterbottom was arrested shortly after police found the newborn baby wrapped in a towel in a plastic bag behind 502 Argonne Blvd. on June 17, 2001.

Jason Wilds, 24, Winterbottom's roommate, was also arrested and faces the same charges. He is scheduled to go to trial Aug. 12.

Wilds and Winterbottom claim the child was stillborn when delivered at their apartment June 10, 2001. They later decided to put the body in a plastic bag and leave it behind a house where Winterbottom had grown up.

A pathologist could not determine if the baby had been stillborn because the body was too badly decomposed when discovered by police.

Mangino said Winterbottom faces a maximum sentence of nine years in prison and a $20,000 fine.

She is scheduled for sentencing Sept. 25 before Judge Motto.

Winterbottom and Wilds are both free on bond.




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