Athens woman faces life in prison for stabbing newborn son to death

acarlson@ledger-enquirer.comMay 23, 2014 

Cassandra Norwood

On Nov. 1, 2012, almost immediately after his birth, a newborn's mother stabbed him to death, a Clarke County jury found earlier this week.

Cassandra Elyse Norwood, 23, was found guilty of malice murder on Wednesday. She inflicted multiple wounds on her infant son, including "slicing" his throat and puncturing his spine, authorities said.

Norwood was first indicted in January 2013. Her trial included less than two days of testimony.

Norwood gave birth in her parents' Great Oak Drive home in Athens, Ga. At the time, she told police that she had been trying to sever the child's umbilical cord.

“She said she did not think to get scissors to cut the cord instead of the large kitchen knife,” a detective wrote in a search warrant affidavit. “(Norwood) said she wasn’t thinking when she got a long knife. She said she cut the cord and the knife was too close to the child and cut the child’s neck.”

Norwood told police in 2012 that she wrapped the boy with a blanket to stop the bleeding.

His body was discovered by Norwood's sister, police said.

Police said that he was found next to a "bloody folding knife" on top of a blanket and plastic trash bag. "A large kitchen knife, which also had blood on it, was on the bed," The Athens Banner-Herald reported.

Forensic evidence did not support Norwood's claims, authorities said: “The medical examiner stated the manner of death was a homicide and the cause was from sharp forced injuries to the neck and abdomen,” a detective wrote in an affidavit.

Norwood had hidden her pregnancy from her family, according to court testimony, even enforcing confidentiality on the part of her local gynecologist.

According to the ABH, "Sometime after the pregnancy exam, a woman purporting to be Norwood’s mother called the doctor’s office to inform them that their services were no longer needed because the family planned to move out of state, authorities said."

Norwood will be sentenced sometime next week. She faces possible life in prison.

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