DC

Baby Left In Dumpster By Mother Shavaughn Robinson Died Of Asphyxiation, Says Richmond Prosecutor

06/04/2013 09:40 am ET | Updated Aug 04, 2013

A newborn girl left in a Dumpster "like common household trash" died of asphyxiation, a Richmond prosecutor said Monday at a bond hearing for the child's mother.

Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Janae Craddock also told a judge that the mother, Shavaughn Robinson, told the police, "I don't want people thinking I killed that baby for nothing," though it was unclear what she meant.

At Monday's hearing, Craddock asked Judge Angela E. Roberts of Richmond Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court to order that Robinson continue to be held in jail with no bond.

Craddock told the judge that Robinson gave birth to the full-term baby girl last week in a bathroom in an office building on Monument Avenue. Robinson left her daughter in a plastic trash bag in a Dumpster behind the building, Craddock said.

Craddock also said Robinson, who is charged with felony concealment of a dead body, will be facing additional charges and is considered a flight risk. The police have labeled the infant's death a homicide.

Po Chau, a supervising assistant public defender, asked the judge to set a "reasonable bond" for Robinson, 27, whom Chau described as a hard worker with strong family backing.

Chau said that her client, if released on bond, would be staying with her 70-year-old grandmother in Richmond.

"There is no evidence of her being a flight risk," Chau said.

After hearing the arguments, Roberts set bond for Robinson at $10,000. Craddock told the judge that the prosecution will appeal the decision. Robinson was expected to remain jailed with no bond until another hearing could be held this week in Richmond Circuit Court.

Craddock said Robinson gave birth last Tuesday in a bathroom at the Lee Medical Building, where she worked. Craddock said Robinson was seen cleaning up blood in a bathroom stall.

"Her only concern was cleaning up her mess," Craddock said.

Robin Porter, a janitor who works at the building, said in an interview last week that a cleaning woman who was working with him in the building late that afternoon could hear someone inside a women's restroom pulling out lots of paper towels.

According to Porter, the cleaning woman went into the bathroom and saw a woman on her knees in front of a toilet, and there was blood on the floor. The woman told the cleaning lady she was having stomach problems.

The cleaning woman also heard a baby crying, Porter said.

Craddock said Monday that Robinson put her child in a trash can in the bathroom, put some paper towels on top and tied the trash bag closed, Craddock said.

Porter said he saw the mother emerge from the bathroom carrying a plastic trash bag "like you would carry a football."

That evening, as Porter was emptying trash in the Dumpster as part of his work duties, he found the baby's body and called 911.

Some of Robinson's relatives and at least one colleague said last week that they did not know Robinson had been pregnant until they heard news of the child's death.

Robinson, a massage therapist, had been working for VA. Health Massage, which is in the Lee Medical Building, and also for Massage Envy in Short Pump.

Chau said Robinson -- who calls herself "AmbitiousGirl" on her Facebook page -- had been working more than 60 hours a week.

"She's an extremely hard worker," Chau said.

Family members have said Robinson has a fiance and a 3-year-old son.

A preliminary hearing in the case has been set for June 12.

rwilliams@timesdispatch.com

(804) 649-6332

@RTDReedWilliams ___

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