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Regional & National

Tennessee won't seek death penalty in newborn slayings

November 10th, 2011 5:03 pm by Staff Report

GALLATIN (AP) — The state will not seek the death penalty against a Hendersonville woman charged in the smothering deaths of her newborn twin sons.

Sumner County District Attorney General Ray Whitley had previously said he might seek a death sentence against 25-year-old Lindsey Lowe. But Whitley ruled it out on Thursday after a grand jury returned an indictment that included charges of first-degree murder and aggravated child abuse.

"This is not a case that's appropriate for the death penalty, in my opinion," he said.

Lowe has told police she hid her pregnancy from everyone and killed the children by covering their mouths after giving birth at home on Sept. 12. She said she did not want her parents to hear their cries.

Her father found one of the twins in a laundry basket two days later and called police.

Lowe's attorney, John Pellegrin, has said he feels Lowe's actions are a "mental health issue" that may have been brought on by the biological changes she underwent during pregnancy. He has said many other Western countries treat neonaticide by the mother as a mental illness.

During one hearing, Hendersonville Police Detective Steve Malach testified that DNA tests showed the father of the children was not Lowe's fiance, but a family acquaintance with whom she had a brief affair.

Whitley has said the affair will be part of the proof he will present at trial as a possible motive for the twins' killing.

Lowe is free on $250,000 bond.

The indictment charges her with two counts of felony murder, two counts of premeditated murder and two counts of aggravated child abuse. Each murder count carries a potential life sentence. The abuse charges each carry a potential 15-20 year sentence.

Lowe will be formally charged during an arraignment in Sumner County Criminal Court on Nov. 18.

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