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Mother Sentenced to 25 Years to Life

The woman, who has two children, was convicted of killing her newborn twins.

May 23, 2003|Akilah Johnson | Times Staff Writer

A preschool worker who gave birth to twins and then smothered them in a plastic bag was sentenced Thursday to 25 years to life in prison.

Lori Renee Hurd, 29, of Glendora, was convicted last month of two counts each of second-degree murder, assault and child abuse and one count of possession of methamphetamine.

On Nov. 10, 2001, after using the drug for three to four days straight, Hurd gave birth to the babies at her parents' Glendora home, where she and her two young children lived, according to court documents and lawyers.

"The real thing that distinguishes her is, she was not a 15- or 16-year-old girl who didn't know what was going on and was scared of what her dad was going to do," said Deputy Dist. Atty. Catherine Brougham. "We're talking about a 28-year-old on her 10th pregnancy, with lots of support."

After the babies -- weighing 6 and 7 lbs. -- were born, Hurd wrapped them in a towel and carried them to the garage, placed them in a trash bag and stuffed them into a detergent box.

The coroner's office determined that both babies had been born full-term and alive. Court documents said asphyxiation appeared to be the cause of death. Methamphetamine was also found in the newborns' systems.

Hurd cried as Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Robert Martinez denied her request for probation. Martinez also rejected her request for a new trial, including her bid to plead not guilty by reason of insanity.

Prosecutors had sought a conviction on first-degree multiple murder, a capital offense. The defense had argued for involuntary manslaughter, punishable by as much as four years in prison.

Brougham said most of Hurd's pregnancies had ended in miscarriages or abortions.

Deputy Public Defender Kent Thomas said that, besides the two children now living with her parents, Hurd had given birth to a child she put up for adoption.

"I used this as an example of what she would've done," said Thomas. He said Hurd didn't realize she was pregnant until she gave birth and then thought she had had a miscarriage.

"There's no way she would've deliberately hurt a baby," Thomas said.

The day Hurd gave birth, Thomas said, his client was not thinking clearly.

"At various points of the morning, she was doing meth," he said, adding that when she gave birth, she did not realize it.

After she began to hemorrhage, she was taken to the hospital.

There, Thomas said, Hurd's frame of mind was "Oh, my God, because of my drug use, I caused another miscarriage."

Afraid authorities would take away her two remaining children if they discovered she was a drug addict, her attorney said, she lied when asked by doctors if she had recently given birth.

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