During the trial, prosecutors argued Ms Eastwood-Ritchey knew she was pregnant three months before the birth and had done nothing to prepare, which they said was evidence of intent . his gestures, prosecutors saidcaused the death of the child.
Joseph Felo, the Cuyahoga County medical examiner who reviewed the autopsy performed by a coroner years earlier, said the baby was not stillborn and died “of action.”
Steven Bradley, one of Ms Eastwood-Ritchey’s lawyers, claimed during his pleading that Ms Eastwood-Ritchey had believed the baby to be stillborn and had not “acted for any specific purpose or intent to cause the death of this baby”.
Mr Bradley did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Monday evening, but said WKYC moments after the verdict that he “felt that the state, frankly, did not have enough evidence to meet its burden of proof”.
During the trial, which was delayed due to the pandemic, jurors saw graphic photos of the baby, a boy, taken moments after he was discovered in the woods.
Prosecutors said while the precise cause of death is unclear, they believe Ms Eastwood-Ritchey killed the baby, placed it in a trash bag and abandoned it in the woods. Ms Eastwood-Ritchey later married the baby’s father, Mark Ritchey. They have three adult children, The Associated Press reported.
In the summer of 1992, Ms Eastwood-Ritchey was 22 and living with her parents and younger sister, Mr Bradley said during the trial. She was active in the local Baptist church, dated her future husband, and worked full-time as a nanny. That fall, she realized she was pregnant.