LUCIAS SCOTT SWARTOUT - Hours old (2010) - Springfield/Gateway OR

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LUCIAS SCOTT SWARTOUT - Hours old (2010) - Springfield/Gateway OR

Post by TomTerrific0420 on Fri Dec 10, 2010 12:07 pm

Angelica Swartout grew up with several dozen brothers and sisters who, like her, were adopted by a Springfield couple who turned an old church on 21st Street into their home.
But when it came time in October for the 23-year-old Swartout to become a mother, Springfield police say, she murdered her newborn son and disposed of his body in a trash bin while working alone at the front desk of a Gateway area motel.
Now, family members — whose doubts about Swartout’s original story regarding the baby’s death led to her arrest on Wednesday — say they want nothing more than to find her son’s body and give him a proper burial.
“I want to find my nephew,” Springfield resident Jewel Sward said. Like Swartout, Sward was adopted as a child by Dennis and RuthAnne Swartout.
“My first priority is to bring him home. He deserves better than this,” Sward said of the baby, whose mother named him Lucias Scott Swartout.
Investigators share Sward’s interest in finding the newborn’s body — both for the family’s sake, as well as for evidentiary reasons as Swartout’s murder case unfolds.
Police Sgt. David Lewis sounded less than optimistic about their chances, but said investigators will meet today to decide whether they should move ahead with what promises to be an incredibly difficult search of a 2-acre section of Short Mountain Landfill near Goshen.
“It seems pretty insurmountable, but we’re going to do everything we can to recover” the body, Lewis said.
“This isn’t adding up”

Investigators say Swart­out, who is being held in the Lane County Jail on a charge of aggravated murder, admitted in an interview with them Wednesday that she killed her son on Oct. 18, shortly after giving birth to him while she worked a night shift at the motel.
Swartout told detectives that she wrapped her dead son’s body in a sheet and placed it in a trash bin outside the motel — then finished her shift and went home, Lewis said.
It’s a story that both police and Swartout’s family say they believe, even if the details are difficult to comprehend.
“It’s one of those things you never understand,” Lewis said. “I don’t think normal people can understand this.”
Swartout, who was about nine months pregnant in October, initially told family members that her baby was stillborn at a local hospital, Lewis said.
Sward said that at first, she didn’t suspect that the story was false. But as Swartout’s behavior became more erratic during the past two months, Sward said she felt she needed to help her sister find closure in the baby’s death.
Sward said she called Sacred Heart Medical Center at RiverBend to inquire about the newborn, but was told they had no record of Swartout ever being admitted. Then on Monday, she spoke with a medical examiner who informed her that no autopsy of the baby was ever performed.
Sward said the medical examiner advised her to contact police, which she did.
“I didn’t hesitate to do it,” Sward said, recalling that when she spoke with Lewis on Tuesday, she told him, “I don’t know if this is a crime, but this isn’t adding up.”
Family still supportive
Swartout’s large adoptive family could not keep her from developing a methamphetamine habit that Lewis said continued through the early months of her pregnancy.
Although investigators believe that the baby’s father did not remain in contact with Swartout after she became pregnant, they still want to locate and interview him, Lewis said.
Family members told police that while Swartout was apprehensive about becoming a mother upon learning of her pregnancy, she appeared to become more excited about it as her son’s birth neared. Swartout’s family held a baby shower for Swartout earlier this year.
Sward said she has about 70 siblings, most of whom were adopted during the past several decades by her mother — who continued taking in children from around the world after her first husband died and she remarried. RuthAnne and her second husband, Thomas Staley, moved from Springfield to Bend about four years ago, according to Staley’s father, a Goshen area resident.
Sward was one of six siblings who attended Swartout’s arraignment Thursday in Lane County Circuit Court. Swartout did not enter a plea or say a word during her court appearance. She will return to court sometime next week, pending the outcome of a grand jury investigation.
Sward said her family continues to support Swart­out despite the murder allegation.
“We love her and we want her to know that,” Sward said. “We also want her to know that we are seeking the truth. We’re grieving with love in our hearts for her, and sorrow for the position she’s put herself in.”

“It’s one of those things you never understand. I don’t think normal people can understand this.”
Sgt. David Lewis
Springfield Police Department


Last edited by TomTerrific0420 on Sun Dec 12, 2010 5:06 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: LUCIAS SCOTT SWARTOUT - Hours old (2010) - Springfield/Gateway OR

Post by TomTerrific0420 on Sun Dec 12, 2010 5:01 am

Saturday, authorities began searching the Short Mountain Landfill near Goshen for the body of Lucias Scott Swartout.

About 20 trained rescuers spread the garbage out one large shovelful at a time- and then combed through it with rakes and hand tools, hoping for "a minor miracle," says Springfield Sgt. Dave Lewis.

Police believe the boy's mother, Angelica May Swartout, gave birth to the boy, killed him, and put him in a dumpster in mid-October.

While they do know the color of the sheet the baby's body should be wrapped in, since it's been about two months, everything in the landfill has begun to decompose- and the color of everything has become a "grayish, muddish mess," says Lewis, making a difficult search even more problematic.

Searchers began about nine in the morning and worked until dark. They'll repeat that shift Sunday and Monday. After that, they'll try and determine if it's worth carrying on- or if there's a better way to conduct the search.

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Re: LUCIAS SCOTT SWARTOUT - Hours old (2010) - Springfield/Gateway OR

Post by TomTerrific0420 on Sun Dec 12, 2010 5:04 am

When family members tried to help Angelica Swartout make funeral arrangements, they couldn't find any birth records for her little boy at the hospital ... nor could they find any record of his death.

That's when Swartout's sister, Jewel Sward, knew something was wrong.

Sward contacted Sergeant David Lewis with Springfield Police on Dec. 7. The next day, police took her sister into custody. Now police are combing a nearby landfill, hoping to find the baby that one day just disappeared.

'It's hard to wrap our minds around it'
Authorities say Swartout has confessed to taking the life of baby "Lucias Scott" – a boy she named herself. According to a SPD affidavit, on Oct. 18 Swartout went into labor and delivered a baby boy in an employee washroom at the Crossland Economy Studios in Springfield. The affidavit says she wrapped the live baby in a dirty bed sheet from the laundry room, and smothered him until she was sure he was dead. Police said she then disposed of the body in the dumpster outside of the motel.Swartout has been charged with aggravated murder. And now her family, who until now believed baby Lucias was stillborn at a local hospital, is coping with the concept of his mother being responsible for his death."It's hard to wrap our minds around it," said Sward, Swartout's older sister. She says she doesn't remember this person as her sister. "This just doesn't happen."

Sward said she never thought her sister was capable of doing the unthinkable. She says her sister has struggled with drugs throughout her life, but in the past couple of months Swartout had made great progress – including holding a steady job and a home.

"It's a tough pill to swallow," said Sward. "We're grieving at the loss of Lucias and we're grieving over the loss of our sister ... essentially we've lost both of them."

Now Springfield Police are shifting their investigation to the Short Mountain Landfill. Sgt. Lewis says officials have stopped processing garbage where investigators have narrowed down an approximately 2-acre area where Lucias' remains could be located.
Giving baby Lucias the funeral he deserves
Unfortunately Sgt. Lewis says he's seen these kinds of cases before. Still the family is realistic – knowing that finding Lucias' little body will be a challenge.

"You're talking about an infant who's probably about 6 to 10 pounds, which is normal birth weight I would think and brand new," said Sgt. Lewis.

"It's been in the landfill since October 19th probably," Lewis said. "The day after is when we figure the garbage was actually dumped out there and compacted and scooped around with these large machines. It's pretty unrealistic that the body will be found in any recognizable form."

Chief Deputy Medical Examiner Frank Ratti was also contacted by Jewel Sward after she found no records of Swartout's baby. Ratti says search and rescue crews have a difficult and dangerous job ahead of them, saying if they do find the body it would likely be decomposed and dismantled.

That's a possible reality those in this family are now trying to prepare themselves for.

"This morning I had to tell my 7 year old what had happened," Sward said. "She sat there and thought about it for awhile and said, 'Mom, I'm really mad at Aunt Angie. But is it okay if I still love her?' and I said, 'Yeah' ... 'cause that's how we all feel."

Angelica's sisters' say their main concern is giving Lucias the funeral he deserves.

"It's probably worse than the proverbial needle in a haystack," said Sgt. Lewis. But his order is not to stop searching until they find the baby's remains, and Swartout's sisters say they won't be giving up hope.

"I can't ignore the fact that Lucias did not have a voice," said one sister, "and he needs someone to stand up for him."

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Re: LUCIAS SCOTT SWARTOUT - Hours old (2010) - Springfield/Gateway OR

Post by mermaid55 on Thu Aug 04, 2011 4:42 pm

Judge denies pretrial release in infant death case
June 3 2011

A judge on Thursday denied a Springfield woman’s request to be released from jail until her October trial on aggravated murder charges for allegedly killing her newborn son last fall.
Lane County Circuit Judge Suzanne Chanti refused to free Angelica May Swartout, 23, despite defense claims that the state lacked evidence corroborating Swartout’s confession to police that she delivered and then suffocated a live baby boy on Oct. 18.

Police have found no body and no medical evidence that Swartout was actually pregnant before the alleged crime, defense attorneys Gordon Mallon and Evelyn Oldencamp told Chanti.

“In fact, we have evidence that she was not (pregnant),” Oldencamp said. She cited a doctor’s Thursday morning testimony that Swartout had a negative pregnancy test at a local Planned Parenthood clinic in late March 2010, when the alleged murder victim would have been a third-month fetus if born full-term in October.

“The prosecution hasn’t pointed to any specific evidence outside of the confession that establishes that a death occurred,” Oldencamp said.

Earlier Thursday, prosecutor Bob Lane played the judge a videotape of a December police interview in which Swartout admitted delivering and suffocating a live son in a restroom at her Gateway motel workplace.

On the tape, Springfield Police Det. George Crolly repeatedly suggested that Swartout killed the son she’d named Lucias Scott to spare him the pain of methamphetamine withdrawal and life with a drug-using single mother. After about 15 minutes, a sobbing Swartout said the child “squeaked a little bit” and “gave a little gasp but he did not cry” before she “wrapped him up really tight in a sheet” to the point that he couldn’t breathe. She said she placed his body in a hotel Dumpster.

A 15-member team searched three days through muddy trash at Lane County’s Short Mountain landfill after her statement, but failed to find a child’s remains.

Swartout, a slender woman with long dark hair and glasses, bit her lip, looked down, and sometimes wept during the three-hour proceeding Thursday.

Police arrested Swartout after her relatives grew suspicious of her claim that her baby boy was stillborn at a local hospital, Springfield Police Sgt. David Lewis testified. Her older sister, Jewel Sward, was reportedly trying to arrange a memorial service for her nephew when she learned that the Lane County Medical Examiner’s Office had never been notified of the child’s death, Lewis said.

Lewis and Crolly also testified Thursday that Swartout came to live with another sister, Lillian Swartout, in spring 2010, saying she was pregnant with a child due in October. Lillian Swartout told police that she saw and felt the baby moving inside her sister’s belly days before the alleged murder, the officers said. Sward and Lillian Swartout also received text messages from Angelica Swartout on Oct. 18, telling them doctors found no heartbeat for her baby when she went to Sacred Heart Medical Center at RiverBend to deliver the child. The sisters said Angelica Swartout later texted them that Lucias was born dead about 5 p.m. due to a condition known as placental abruption. She also “texted” them and a friend a photo of a lifeless baby, suggesting it was Lucias.

An analysis of Angelica Swartout’s computer showed that she began researching placental abruption more than two months before the alleged infanticide, Crolly testified. He said she later admitted downloading the dead child’s photo from a website on stillbirths. Angelica Swartout resisted her sisters’ efforts to accompany her to purported prenatal visits, Crolly told the judge. He said he contacted obstetricians and gynecologists throughout Oregon and Washington but found no record she ever received prenatal care.

Lane called Swartout’s deceptions “signs of criminal intent” that corroborated her confession.

“It sounds a little bit crass, but you don’t plan ahead of time to kill a dead baby,” he said.

Mallon told Chanti there were other explanations for his client’s ruse.

“These kinds of cases tend to be ones where a lot of assumptions are made,” he said. “It’s our job as a defense team to say, ‘Wait a minute — those assumptions are not necessarily the case.’ ”

Under questioning by Oldencamp, the Springfield detectives acknowledged that Angelica Swartout told a friend in Longview, Wash., that she’d had an abortion in late May or early June. They also acknowledged that Swartout’s motel co-workers reported that she had not been obviously pregnant.

Oldencamp reminded Chanti that Oregon courts require corroboration because of historical cases “in which alleged murder victims turned up alive after their alleged murderers had already been convicted and hanged for their offenses.”

“For whatever reason psychologically, people will confess to a crime and yet a crime never occurred,” she said. “The state is arguing that she researched stillbirth. … That does not mean she therefore caused an injury that caused the alleged victim’s death.”

Oldencamp said Swartout’s stillbirth story also could have been a way of “explaining things to her family” if she was not pregnant when she came to live with her sister, or if she subsequently had an abortion.

After a one-hour lunch recess, however, Chanti ruled that the state had established the corroborating proof requiring her to deny Swartout’s motion for pretrial release.

Sward spoke briefly to reporters after the hearing, choking up as she recounted watching seeing her “baby sister” in handcuffs.

“I will always love her,” Sward said. “But Lucias was also my nephew. Just because we haven’t recovered a body doesn’t make him any less of a person.”

http://www.registerguard.com/web/newslocalnews/26328692-41/swartout-angelica-baby-judge-police.html.csp


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Re: LUCIAS SCOTT SWARTOUT - Hours old (2010) - Springfield/Gateway OR

Post by mermaid55 on Fri Aug 05, 2011 6:09 am

Lawyers: Swartout pressured to confess
The 23-year-old woman faces charges of killing her newborn

Published:Saturday, Jul 23, 2011

A Springfield woman who admitted to killing her newborn son confessed under pressure from police who interrogated her under circumstances that violated her constitutional rights, her attorneys allege in court filings.

In documents filed in Lane County Circuit Court on July 14, Angelica Swart­out’s attorneys ask a judge to rule that incriminating statements she gave to Springfield police investigators last December may not be used as evidence in her murder case.

The attorneys, Gordon Mallon and EveLyn Oldencamp, charge that police improperly held Swartout for questioning without first establishing probable cause that she had committed a crime and that they neglected to inform her of her right to remain silent before they grilled her about her baby’s death.

Investigators later compelled Swartout to incriminate herself by urging her to “tell the truth,” her attorneys allege.

Police arrested Swartout after her relatives reported that they had become suspicious of her claim that her baby boy was stillborn at a local hospital. Her older sister, Jewel Sward, was trying to arrange a memorial service for her nephew when she learned that the Lane County Medical Examiner’s Office had never been notified of the child’s death, police said.

Swartout, 23, has been held in the Lane County Jail since December on a charge of aggravated murder. Prosecutors have not said whether they will seek the death penalty if Swartout is convicted.

Swartout’s lawyers have noted that police found no body and have argued that police have no medical evidence that Swarthout was actually pregnant before the alleged crime. In court in June, they said a pregnancy test on Swartout showed that she was not pregnant in March 2010, when the alleged murder victim would have been a third-month fetus if born full-term in October.

Springfield police Sgt. David Lewis — one of the investigators who questioned Swartout — said it’s not uncommon for defense attorneys to charge that police improperly obtained evidence “in a case of this magnitude.”

Swartout’s lawyers “wouldn’t be doing their job if they didn’t try to do this,” Lewis said. “I’m not concerned. I’m actually quite confident that we followed the law.”

In June, Lane County Circuit Judge Suzanne Chanti refused to free Swartout after defense attorneys argued that prosecutors lacked evidence corroborating Swartout’s confession to police that she delivered and then suffocated a live baby boy on Oct. 18.

Swartout told police in December that she wrapped her son in a sheet until he could not breathe, then threw the body into a trash container outside a Springfield motel where she worked.

A 15-member team searched three days through muddy trash at Lane County’s Short Mountain landfill after her statement but failed to find a child’s remains.

Swartout’s trial is scheduled to begin in November.

http://www.registerguard.com/web/newslocalnews/26587518-46/swartout-police-attorneys-springfield-county.html.csp


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Re: LUCIAS SCOTT SWARTOUT - Hours old (2010) - Springfield/Gateway OR

Post by TomTerrific0420 on Wed Nov 09, 2011 4:42 pm

An already unusual Lane County murder case
has taken another odd twist, with lawyers for a Springfield woman
accused of killing her newborn son filing a motion asking that jurors in
her upcoming murder trial be allowed to view tattoos on the backs of
her adoptive sisters.

Angelica May Swartout, 24, faces aggravated
murder charges for allegedly delivering and then suffocating a baby boy
in October 2010. Investigators didn’t find an infant’s body, and the
state has no evidence that Swartout actually gave birth to a son in a
restroom at her hotel workplace, as she told detectives last December,
her attorneys have argued.

Her sisters, Jewel Sward and Lillianne
Swartout, are expected to testify for the state that Angelica Swartout
was in the late stages of pregnancy just before the alleged crime.

The defense team contends she never had a
child. They say her alleged late-stage pregnancy was a charade designed
to maintain the affection and support she began receiving from family
members after a positive pregnancy test in January 2010.

A local Planned Parenthood doctor testified
in a June pretrial hearing that Swartout had a negative pregnancy test
in late March 2010, when the alleged murder victim would have been a
third-month fetus if born full-term in October. Swartout falsely told
her family that she delivered a still-born son at a local hospital in
October 2010 as a way to end her “masquerade,” defense attorney Gordon
Mallon said at another pretrial hearing last month.

Mallon and co-counsel Eve­lyn Oldencamp
argued then that Swartout made a bogus confession under pressure from
Springfield police during two days of interviews last December. But Lane
County Circuit Judge Suzanne Chanti denied a defense motion to keep the
confession from jurors when Swartout’s trial begins Jan. 10.

In the newest motion filed last week,
Mallon said multiple witnesses told a defense investigator that both
Sward and Lillianne Swartout have had the word “Lucias” tattooed on
their backs.

“Lucias is the name which Jewel Sward
claims was given to the alleged fetus which Ms. Sward believed was
carried by her adopted sister, the defendant,” he wrote in the motion.

The fact that Sward and Lillianne Swartout
tattooed that name on their bodies shows that “they have an interest in
trying to prove that there was in fact a person named ‘Lucias’ who was
borne by the defendant,” Mallon wrote.

Jurors should be aware of that “bias,” he
charged. He said previous Oregon court rulings held that “the interest
of a witness in the outcome of a case will slant the witness’
testimony.”

Mallon also argued that “descriptions or
photographs will not serve to show (the sisters’) interest as well as
the actual tattoos will.”

The tattoo motion was among other pretrial
filings from both sides regarding the role of Angelica Swartout’s
sisters in the case.

Prosecutor Bob Lane has asked the court to
treat Sward as a victim under Oregon law, which gives that status to
“person or persons who have suffered financial, social, psychological or
physical harm as a result of a crime.” In a homicide, the
classification also applies to “a member of the immediate family of the
decedent.”

The Lane County District Attorney’s Office
determined that she suffered “direct psychological harm as a result of
the (alleged) crime,” Lane wrote.

State law allows crime victims to be
present throughout a trial, even if they are witnesses who would
otherwise be excluded from hearing the testimony of others.

But Mallon filed a motion objecting to
such a designation. Angelica Swartout’s right to a fair trial would be
violated if Sward — “a primary witness in the state’s case” — is able to
stay in the courtroom while other witnesses testify, he wrote. Sward
should not be “given an opportunity to alter her testimony” based on her
observations of other trial proceedings, he argued.

Mallon also filed a motion seeking to
prevent Lane “from referring to any person as being the victim” in the
case. Such a reference could “improperly suggest” to the jury that a
crime has been committed, the defense lawyer said.

Mallon also filed a motion calling for
jurors to visit the alleged crime scene, an employee bathroom at the
Crosslands Hotel in Springfield, where Angelica Swartout worked in the
fall of 2010. A defense-hired forensic expert reported finding no traces
of blood or other bodily fluid suggesting that a child was born and
murdered there.

Chanti has set Tuesday for the next oral arguments on pretrial motions in the case.
http://www.registerguard.com/web/newslocalnews/27145770-41/swartout-case-motion-sward-angelica.html.csp

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Re: LUCIAS SCOTT SWARTOUT - Hours old (2010) - Springfield/Gateway OR

Post by mermaid55 on Fri Dec 16, 2011 4:26 pm

Sister allowed to hear all testimony
A key prosecution witness will be treated as a victim in the case accusing her sister of killing her own baby

BY KAREN MCCOWAN
The Register-Guard
Appeared in print: Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2011, page B1

The adoptive sister of a Springfield woman accused of suffocating her newborn child last year will be treated as a victim in the case, giving her the right to attend the entire trial, a judge ruled Tuesday.

The sister, Jewell Sward, is expected to be a key state witness in the murder trial of Angelica Swartout and testify that Swartout was in the late stages of pregnancy just before the alleged crime. Swartout’s attorneys have argued in pretrial motions that the 24-year-old hotel clerk faked her pregnancy and never gave birth to a child.

No body has been found.

The defense lawyers argued that calling Sward a victim in the case would violate Swartout’s right to be presumed innocent.

“This is their primary witness, the whole entire reason we are here,” defense attorney Evelyn Oldenkamp said. “Designating her as a victim says to the jury: ‘We believe this person.’ ”

Sward contacted Springfield police last November after Swartout reportedly told her and another sister that she’d delivered a stillborn son at Sacred Heart Medical Center at RiverBend on Oct. 18, 2010, according to previous hearings and court documents.

Sward told officers she became suspicious after finding no record of such a birth or death — and no infant’s body — as she tried to plan a funeral.

Swartout was charged with murder in December, after she admitted delivering and smothering the child during what her defense lawyers called two days of coercive police questioning.

Swartout’s lawyers also objected to Sward having victim status, because it would exempt her from a court order barring witnesses from the courtroom except when they are on the stand. Allowing her presence while other witnesses speak would give Sward an opportunity to alter her testimony to conform with other accounts, the defense lawyers said.

But Lane County Circuit Judge Suzanne Chanti ruled that the Lane County District Attorney’s Office had the right to designate Sward as a victim under a state law extending that status to people who suffer psychological harm from a crime.

Lane said Tuesday that Sward wept while telling him how eagerly she and her sisters had awaited the birth of their nephew, and how crushed they were to learn he had died.

Chanti ordered that Sward be the first witness to testify in the case, however, and that Lane never refer to Sward as a victim in the presence of the jury.

The judge also ordered that witnesses in the case not discuss their anticipated testimony before the trial, and that attorneys not convey one witness’s planned testimony to others.

She also ordered that witnesses not be together in the same location during the trial, which is expected to last about a week.

Chanti did not rule on a defense motion asking that jurors in Swartout’s Jan. 10 murder trial be allowed to view tattoos on the backs of Sward and Lillianne Swartout, another sister in their large adoptive family. Both reportedly had the name “Lucias” tattooed on their backs because that was the name Angelica Swartout had reportedly chosen for her alleged unborn child.

Defense attorney Gordon Mallon told Chanti Tuesday that the tattoos show bias toward the unproven notion that his client actually carried and delivered a full-term, living baby.

“If the witness has gone to expense, trouble and pain in having the name of this alleged baby tattooed on their person, then they have an interest in” that premise, he said.

Lane said the prosecution would not dispute the existence of the tattoos, but that the sisters might balk at “being asked to disrobe and show it.”

And Sward’s attorney, Erin Olson, asked that jurors see a photo of the tattoo, rather than “baring her (client’s) back.”

But Mallon reiterated his request that the jury see it “in the flesh” because of the “huge” impact factor of an actual view.

Chanti did not deny the defense request, but said she is leaning toward doing so.

“From where I sit right now, I think a picture is adequate because of privacy and dignity issues,” she said.

She ordered Lane and Olson to cooperate with the defense team in allowing it to photograph the tattoo from whatever angle it finds most effective.

Chanti denied a defense motion that jurors be told that the state had “despoiled” crime scene evidence in the case.

A defense forensic expert in September tested and found no traces of blood in an employee bathroom of the Crossland Economy Studios, where the state alleges Swartout killed her newborn son.

In a motion seeking to introduce those test results as evidence, Mallon chided Springfield police for failing to conduct “even a rudimentary investigation of the crime scene at the time of the initial arrest of our client.”

But the state “never had possession” of the alleged spoiled evidence, the judge ruled.

http://projects.registerguard.com/turin/2011/nov/16/sister-allowed-to-hear-all-testimony/

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Re: LUCIAS SCOTT SWARTOUT - Hours old (2010) - Springfield/Gateway OR

Post by inmyfloridaopinion on Sat Dec 31, 2011 6:26 pm

All, IMHO. First of all, she would never have known if she had a placental abruption if she gave birth in a restroom. You would know you had a baby, but not *why* it might have died unless you killed him. Placentas detach after any birth (occasionally needing intervention). Placentas that detach while in labor are painful beyond belief and can lead to a still birth. Secondly, if she had an abrupted placenta in the hospital there would have been documentation and she would probably needed an emergency c-section if any progression occurred (mom and/or baby's distress). Third, if this was her first baby, a ten minute visit to an OB/GYN doctor could establish whether or not she had given birth and possibly if she had had an abortion.

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Re: LUCIAS SCOTT SWARTOUT - Hours old (2010) - Springfield/Gateway OR

Post by mermaid55 on Wed Jan 11, 2012 4:38 pm

Swartout judge to review police files
Defense lawyers say the personnel material could help clear their 24-year-old client of murder


BY KAREN MCCOWAN
The Register-Guard
Published: (Monday, Jan 9, 2012 05:00AM) Midnight, Jan. 9

The judge who will preside over the Jan. 18 murder trial of a Springfield woman accused of smothering a newborn child will review police officer personnel files sought by defense attorneys in the case.

Lane County Circuit Judge Suzanne Chanti decided Friday that she would view the files privately and provide to Angelica Swartout’s defense team any material that could help them clear their client of the murder charge.

The 24-year-old hotel clerk’s lawyers had subpoenaed the records from the city, but City Attorney Matt Cox filed a motion to quash their request, saying the personnel records are protected by privacy laws.

The state alleges that Swartout gave birth to and suffocated a son in the employee restroom of her Springfield workplace in October 2010. Her lawyers say she faked a pregnancy to obtain attention and support from members of her large adoptive family. They presented pretrial testimony from a local doctor that Swartout had a negative pregnancy test six months before the alleged murder.

The defense team contends that she falsely confessed to infanticide under duress of police questioning on two consecutive days. Chanti ruled last year that police obtained the confession legally and that jurors can view it during Swartout’s upcoming aggravated murder trial.

Springfield Police Chief Jerry Smith on Friday delivered the personnel files sought by the defense to a court clerk, carrying the binders and folding files in a large cardboard box.

The defense subpoenaed the records of five officers: four who investigated the Swartout case and another officer that Swartout’s lawyers say may have had an inappropriate interaction with a key state witness in the case.

They alleged they had information that Larry Turner showed inappropriate leniency following a traffic stop of the witness, Swartout’s sister Jewel Sward, because of her importance to the state’s case.

They did not detail the alleged leniency. But a document filed in a divorce proceeding between Sward and her husband includes his allegation that an unnamed Springfield officer stopped Sward in the summer of 2011 on suspicion of drunken driving, but she “was let go” because she is “an important witness for the State in a capital murder case” and because she had had previous contact with the officer. Ironically, that document was filed by Cox, who also initially represented Jewel Sward in her divorce case. He has a general law practice that includes domestic relations cases, as well as handling Springfield’s legal matters. He filed the document in September, in support of a motion to withdraw from representing Jewel Sward in the divorce case, due to a conflict of interest raised by her husband’s allegation against a city employee.

Police Chief Smith said Friday that “no special consideration” was given to Sward by his officers due to her role as a witness in the murder case.

“It’s untrue,” he said of Jeffrey Sward’s allegation.

Smith on Friday reviewed records of his department’s interaction’s with Sward, and found that her only contact with Springfield police last summer was a citation for driving while uninsured. That citation was not issued by Turner, Smith added.

http://www.registerguard.com/web/newslocalnews/27181305-41/swartout-case-police-murder-defense.html.csp

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Re: LUCIAS SCOTT SWARTOUT - Hours old (2010) - Springfield/Gateway OR

Post by mermaid55 on Thu Jan 19, 2012 5:32 pm

Jury selection begins in Swartout’s trial

Testimony is expected to last several weeks in the case concerning a disputed birth and possible death

Eighty Lane County residents answered questions Wednesday as a judge and attorneys began jury selection in Angelica Swartout’s aggravated murder trial.

The 24-year-old hotel clerk is accused of delivering, then smothering, a full-term baby in an employee restroom at her Springfield workplace in October 2010. The potential jurors were told to expect a three- to four-week trial.

The case is unusual because police recovered no infant’s body and a doctor testified in a pretrial hearing that Swartout had a negative pregnancy test six months before the alleged murder.

In court documents and in a comment during jury questioning, her defense lawyers have suggested that Swartout never gave birth and instead faked a full-term pregnancy to get attention and support from her large adoptive family.

But the prosecution plans to show jurors a videotape of Swartout confessing to infanticide during her second day of questioning by Springfield police in December 2010. And according to search warrant papers made public last week, one of Swartout’s co-workers told investigators she found a bloody sheet and rags at the hotel hours after the alleged birth and death.

Multiple members of Swartout’s family also have told police they saw her belly swollen in late-stage pregnancy or even felt a baby moving under her skin.

Lane County Circuit Judge Suzanne Chanti spent most of the day questioning two 40-member panels of prospective jurors.

She dismissed about two dozen from serving on the case after some described how a monthlong commitment could cause them undue financial or family hardship, and others expressed doubt that they could weigh the evidence objectively.

Most remaining potential jurors also expressed dismay about the case’s time commitment, but said they could manage the sacrifice. Many cited Chanti’s opening remarks reminding them of the importance of jury service to the U.S. system of justice.

“The jury trial is the feature of our justice system that sets us apart from other countries,” she said, adding that such citizen service is the only way persons accused of crimes can be judged by a jury of their peers.

Jury selection continues today.

http://www.registerguard.com/web/newslocalnews/27482682-41/swartout-jury-case-jurors-trial.html.csp

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Re: LUCIAS SCOTT SWARTOUT - Hours old (2010) - Springfield/Gateway OR

Post by mermaid55 on Sat Jan 21, 2012 2:46 pm

Questioning of jury hints at defense for Swartout
Prospective jurors in the aggravated murder case are asked about false confessions and faked pregnancies


By Karen McCowan

The Register-Guard

Published: (Friday, Jan 20, 2012 05:02AM) Midnight, Jan. 20

Jury selection continues in the aggravated murder trial of Angelica Swartout, accused of killing a newborn son in an employee bathroom at her hotel workplace in October 2010.

Defense attorneys dominated the second day of questioning, probing prospective jurors’ views of false confessions, faked pregnancies and the role of cultural differences in how different people choose to “save face.”

The questions hinted at the defense that Swartout’s attorneys are expected to present as the trial unfolds over the next three to four weeks. Police have recovered no infant’s body since two of Swartout’s sisters contacted them in December 2010 to report that she had lied about delivering a stillborn son at a local hospital. Swartout confessed to infanticide in a videotaped interview, and a hotel co-worker reported finding a bloody sheet and rags at the hotel hours after the alleged birth and death.

Swartout’s attorneys have suggested that she never gave birth and faked a full-term pregnancy to get attention and support from her large adoptive family. A doctor testified for the defense in a pretrial hearing, telling Lane County Circuit Judge Suzanne Chanti that Swartout had a negative pregnancy test six months before the alleged murder.

As part of his hours of questioning Thursday, defense attorney Gordon Mallon evoked a story line from the television show “Glee,” in which a character’s wife fakes a pregnancy. Few prospective jurors had seen the episodes, but one woman said she had attended a baby shower for a relative who later confessed she had not been pregnant.

By contrast, prosecutor Bob Lane questioned the panel of jury candidates for less than half an hour. Referencing the issues raised earlier by the defense, he asked the prospective jurors: “If I got the impression there ain’t no way you guys are gonna convict (Swartout) because of all the things the defense has raised, would I be wrong?”

“You would be wrong,” one woman told him, and others agreed, saying they would not hesitate to convict the 24-year-old suspect of aggravated murder if evidence in the case supported that verdict.

http://www.registerguard.com/web/newslocalnews/27488024-41/swartout-defense-jurors-attorneys-murder.html.csp

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Re: LUCIAS SCOTT SWARTOUT - Hours old (2010) - Springfield/Gateway OR

Post by mermaid55 on Tue Jan 24, 2012 6:05 am

Doctor’s exam indicates Angelica Swartout delivered a baby, prosecutor says


By Karen McCowan

The Register-Guard

A recent doctor’s exam showed signs that accused child-killer Angelica “Angie” Swartout experienced a full-term pregnancy and childbirth, Deputy Lane County District Attorney Bob Lane told a jury in opening statements at her aggravated murder trial today.

That exam, obtained last month with a warrant to search Swartout’s body, showed a vertical line of darkened skin on her lower belly — a phenomenon of advanced pregnancy — and cervical changes consistent with having pushed out a baby, Lane told jurors.

But defense lawyer Eve Oldenkamp told the panel that the same doctor will testify that she can’t be sure Swartout gave birth. Oldenkamp also said the defense will present testimony from another obstetrician that it’s likely Swartout did not give birth.

Today’s trial also included emotional testimony from two of Swartout’s sisters who said they are certain Swartout’s pregnancy was real.

The 24-year-old Springfield hotel clerk is accused of giving birth to and smothering a baby boy on Oct. 18, 2010, then putting his body in a hotel trash bin. Police searched a Lane County landfill after learning of the alleged crime in December 2010, but found no child’s remains.

http://www.registerguard.com/web/updates/27505504-55/swartout-angelica-lane-birth-sister.html.csp

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Re: LUCIAS SCOTT SWARTOUT - Hours old (2010) - Springfield/Gateway OR

Post by mermaid55 on Fri Jan 27, 2012 4:07 pm

Doctors disagree on Swartout birth

A Medford gynecologist testifies that it’s “more likely than not” that the defendant never delivered a child


By Karen McCowan

The Register-Guard

Published: (Friday, Jan 27, 2012 05:01AM) Today

A doctor testifying for the defense told a jury Thursday that she believed it was “more likely than not” that Angelica Swartout, accused of smothering a newborn son, never delivered a child.

The testimony by Medford obstetrician and gynecologist Linda Ruth Harris was the opposite of what jurors heard Wednesday from a local OB/GYN physician called by the state. While both doctors said they could not be sure one way or the other, Dr. Melissa Edwards said the appearance of Swartout’s cervix and other physical characteristics showed more evidence to suggest that a baby was born than not.

The prosecution alleges that Swartout delivered, then smothered a full-term baby in an employee bathroom of her hotel workplace in Springfield, then placed the body in a trash bin.

The defense contends that Swartout falsely confessed at the suggestion of police, and that she faked a pregnancy and stillbirth to gain attention and support from her large adoptive family.

They also have presented evidence that Swartout had a negative pregnancy test at a local clinic in March.

Swartout is on trial for aggravated murder. If convicted, she faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 30 years to life in prison, or a “true life” sentence with no opportunity ever to seek parole. Prosecutors have said they will not seek the death penalty.

Both medical witnesses are experienced doctors who offered their opinions after performing recent pelvic exams on Swartout at the Lane County Jail.

Harris testified that her practice now includes a Jackson County clinic where about half of her patients are Latinas and Hispanic women. That led her to reach a different conclusion about one feature that both doctors observed in Swartout: a vertical line of darkened skin running from her belly button to her pubic bone.

Edwards called that a sign of pregnancy. But Harris testified Thursday that many dark-skinned women, including Native Americans, have such a line long before becoming pregnant. Swartout’s mother is a member of Canada’s Ojibwa tribe.

Harris told jurors she offered to testify after seeing a defense investigator’s digital photos of Swartout’s cervix during Edwards’ exam. She said she was concerned that Edwards was expected to cite the appearance of that cervix in her testimony, concluding that the accused woman had likely given birth.

“I wanted to see the shape and size of the cervix myself,” Harris said. “I also wanted to make sure that people understood that the shape of the cervix is not always a determinant if someone has delivered vaginally.”

She described Swartout’s cervical opening as smaller and less turned up at each end than Edwards had the previous day. Her drawing for jurors was of a slightly elliptical opening.

Harris also disputed Edwards’ contention that the presence of the outside of tissue normally found on the inside of Swartout’s cervix suggested she had pushed out a baby.

The Medford doctor said she had seen many examples of such “everted tissue” on adolescent women who’d never had a vaginal delivery.

She acknowledged under questioning by prosecutor Bob Lane, however, that Swartout’s cervical opening was not the “classically small, round” opening “that one would see in a textbook.”

Both Edwards and Harris testified that Swartout had no signs of tearing or other trauma to the tissue surrounding her vagina. Harris said Thursday that it would be ”remarkable” for a first-time mother to give birth, unattended, without some tearing in that area.

Harris also testified that she has seen cases of women feigning an entire pregnancy, and that studies have documented such women fooling friends and family members by gaining weight, sticking out their stomachs to make their bellies appear round, or voluntarily contracting muscles to simulate the movement of a baby inside a womb.

Finally, Harris countered Edwards’ testimony that false pregnancy tests are not uncommon, saying a “false negative” test would be unlikely at the gestational age in March of a full-term fetus born in October.

Earlier Thursday, defense attorneys challenged Springfield detectives’ investigation of the case. The lawyers pressed Sgt. Dave Lewis to explain why police didn’t try to gather physical evidence verifying Swartout’s Dec. 7 and 8, 2010, statements to police that she’d born a child in a workplace employee bathroom, then placed his body in a trash receptacle.

Defense attorney Gordon Mallon asked Lewis why he didn’t ask an Oregon State Police forensics team to search the alleged murder scene for traces of blood. The sergeant denied Mallon’s assertion that he instead ordered a search of a local landfill because he’d already concluded that Swartout actually had given birth based on her statements and her sisters’ reports that she’d had a full-term pregnancy.

Lewis said he did not call in the state police forensics team because “given the time that had gone by, and as many times as (the restroom) would have been cleaned, there would have been no evidence there.”

The trial continues today with jurors slated to watch Swartout’s videotaped confession.

http://www.registerguard.com/web/newslocalnews/27521347-41/swartout-harris-edwards-cervix-baby.html.csp

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Re: LUCIAS SCOTT SWARTOUT - Hours old (2010) - Springfield/Gateway OR

Post by angelm07 on Tue May 08, 2012 4:59 pm

Swartout trial ends in hung jury










Judge Suzanne Chanti declares a mistrial after jurors are unable to reach a verdict

The jury went home, the attorneys went back
to their offices, and Angelica Swartout went back to jail Wednesday
afternoon after Lane County Circuit Judge Suzanne Chanti declared a
mistrial in Swartout’s aggravated murder case.

Chanti’s ruling came after jurors convinced
her that after four full days of deliberating behind closed doors, they
could not reach consensus and decide whether prosecutors proved beyond a
reasonable doubt that Swartout killed a newborn son in October 2010.

“Because the jury is hopelessly hung, I do declare a mistrial,” Chanti said.

After releasing the jury, Chanti
immediately scheduled a new trial for Swartout for April 16. Lane County
sheriff’s deputies then led Swartout back to jail, where she has been
held since Springfield police arrested her in December 2010.

Earlier, when jurors returned to the
courtroom just after 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, Chanti instructed them not to
reveal how many of them lined up on the side of convicting Swartout of
murder and how many others felt that prosecutors failed to prove the
case.

A conviction would have required a
unanimous vote of the 12-member panel, while an acquittal required 10 to
find her not guilty.

Chanti asked the presiding juror if he
felt that the panel could reach a verdict were they to discuss the
evidence further. After pausing for more than 10 seconds, the man broke
the courtroom silence by saying, “Without further instructions, no.”

The eight women and four men who comprised the jury were not identified by name in court.

Prosecutor Bob Lane and Swartout’s
attorney, Gordon Mallon, both said in court that they did not oppose
Chanti’s decision to send the jury home and declare a mistrial.

Lane County Chief Deputy District Attorney
Patty Perlow declined to comment on the case on Wednesday, saying all
parties are still prohibited from talking about it outside of court
because of a gag order that Chanti previously imposed.

Unless a plea agreement is reached,
another trial will proceed — although it is possible that prosecutors
could dismiss the charge rather than retry the case.

Mallon said Wednesday afternoon that he was not surprised to learn the jury could not reach a verdict.

“I was expecting anything,” he said. “Nothing’s surprising.”
Mallon acknowledged that he believed “the
jury worked extremely hard” and pledged to try again to get Swartout
cleared of the murder charge.

“We’re going to continue to fight for our client’s liberty,” he said.

Members of Swartout’s large family were in
attendance when Chanti declared a mistrial. Approached afterward outside
court, two of those family members declined comment.

Swartout remains accused of killing a newborn son in an employee bathroom at her hotel workplace on Oct. 18, 2010.

She falsely told friends and relatives that
she had delivered a stillborn child at a local hospital that day, and
family members grew suspicious of that claim and contacted police after
finding no record of the child’s birth or death.

Police then confronted Swartout, who
initially told them she had delivered a stillborn baby in an employee
restroom, then placed the body in a hotel trash bin.

But in a subsequent interview, Swartout
confessed that she had delivered and smothered a baby boy while at work,
then wrapped his body in a sheet and placed it in a trash container.

As part of their investigation, police
conducted a search of the Short Mountain landfill but did not find an
infant’s remains amid the refuse.

A doctor testified in a pretrial hearing that Swartout had a negative pregnancy test six months before the alleged murder.

Swartout testified during the trial that
she had faked a full-term pregnancy after an early miscarriage to
continue receiving support and attention from her large, adoptive
family.

If Swartout is convicted of the charge, she
could spend the rest of her life in prison. Prosecutors said before the
trial began that they would not seek the death penalty against
Swartout.
http://www.registerguard.com/web/news/27577183-57/swartout-jury-2010-chanti-lane.html.csp

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Re: LUCIAS SCOTT SWARTOUT - Hours old (2010) - Springfield/Gateway OR

Post by angelm07 on Tue May 08, 2012 5:02 pm

Angelica Swartout Jury Selection Begins for Retrial 04/30/2012
EUGENE, Ore. -- Jury selection is under way in the trial of a Springfield woman accused of killing her newborn baby.

This will be the second trial for Angelica Swartout.

Back in February a panel of jurors couldn't reach a verdict for Swartout, so a mistrial was declared.

Now a new pool of Lane County residents are being vetted to try this case a second time around.

Forty-five of them are called at a time.

Swartout is charged with murdering her baby and dumping the body in a dump.

At the previous trial the defense argued Swartout was never pregnant.

A local criminal defense attorney not associated with the case says
this jury selection will be incredibly hard because they must find a
fair and impartial jury who doesn't know too much about the case,
especially since our area is relatively smaller.

"It's almost an impossible task you are going to have to choose if
you want some well read intelligent jurors you are going to have to have
some jurors that know something about the case," said criminal defense
attorney Hugh Duvall.

Then there's the challenge for the attorneys of trying a case again,
because basically they've already laid their cards on the table,
divulged their arguments and surprises.

Duvall says he's never seen a change of venue requested during selection, but he's says it's not out of the question.

Twelve jurors will eventually be selected with up to six alternates
and at this point it's unclear how long the process could take.

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