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Jury weighs case of Tenn. mom charged in twin babies' deaths

TRAVIS LOLLER • Mar 19, 2013 at 5:26 PM

GALLATIN — As the murder case against a suburban Nashville woman accused of smothering her newborn twin boys went to the jury Tuesday, both sides agreed in closing arguments that even Lindsey Lowe's closest friends and family did not realize she was pregnant before she gave birth.

She was a bridesmaid in a wedding two days before the babies were born, and a sorority sister spent the night with her one day before. She had purchased no crib, baby blankets or formula and had not gone to a doctor.

After giving birth on Sept. 12, 2011, in her family's home in Hendersonville, about 20 miles northeast of Nashville, she continued making plans with friends, and she missed only one day of work.

Prosecutors argued that Lowe's actions show she intended to end her babies' lives and go on with her own, rather than let them interfere with her plans.

She became pregnant after she cheated on her fiance, and prosecutors said that provided a motive for her to keep the babies a secret.

"Lindsey Lowe could not afford to let her image be tarnished," said District Attorney General Ray Whitley. "She was so well thought of by everyone."

Defense attorney John Pellegrin argued that the prosecution's theory just doesn't make sense. If Lowe, who is now 26, had realized she was pregnant and wanted to hide it, she could have had an abortion or gone on a trip, he said. Instead, she carried the babies for nine months before giving birth in a bathroom she shared with her sister.

Lowe's parents discovered the body of one newborn two days later in Lowe's laundry basket in her bedroom. They called police, who discovered the second baby in the same basket.

Lowe faces murder charges and a maximum sentence of life in prison without parole. The jury also could find her guilty of lesser charges.

Lowe's fate likely hinges on how much weight the jurors give to video of a police interrogation in which Lowe tells a detective that she smothered the twins with her hands so that her parents would not hear their cries.

Pellegrin suggested that the detective planted that idea in Lowe's head when she was mentally unstable.

A psychiatrist for the defense testified that Lowe mentally dissociated when she was under stress and was delusional when she gave birth.

Pellegrin suggested that the infants could have suffocated by being on top of each other in a toilet bowl with the placenta. He also suggested they could have died from hyperthermia from being partially submerged in the cold water of the toilet for an unknown period.

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