COLUMBUS, Ohio (WKBN) – The Ohio Supreme Court decided that the psychological condition that a former Ohio college student was experiencing was not explained to the court at sentencing and that she had ineffective counsel.
The case surrounds the 2015 death of then 21-year-old Emile Weaver’s newborn child.
Prosecutors said Weaver gave birth in a bathroom at the Delta Gamma Theta sorority at Muskingum University on April 22, 2015, then put the child in a trash can outside the sorority house. Two of her sorority sisters discovered the discarded baby.
Weaver was found guilty of aggravated murder, abuse of a corpse and tampering with evidence. She was sentenced to life without parole.
In a 4-3 decision this week, the court reversed the Fifth District Court of Appeals decision and ruled that Weaver had ineffective counsel at her sentencing and that her lawyer failed to explain neonaticide, which is the murder of an infant within 24 hours of birth and how neonaticide is “not considered a premeditated act” but rather an act “within the context of extreme panic.”
Weaver’s appeal contended that if neonaticide was explained, she would have gotten a lesser sentence.
Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor said that the trial judge was arbitrary and unreasonable toward the evidence of neonaticide and pregnancy-negation syndrome.
The case will now go back to the trial court with orders that another judge conduct the sentencing.