FARGO – A woman accused of drowning her newborn child in a bathtub at a south Fargo home was arraigned Monday, July 2, in Cass County District Court.
Ginny Lubitz, 36, of West Fargo, is charged with a count of murder and a count of attempted murder in connection with the baby’s death on May 5.
She was arraigned from Cass County Jail through interactive TV, answering each of Judge John Irby’s questions with a blunt “yes.”
The judge set Lubitz’s bail at $500,000. She remained in jail as of Monday evening. She has a preliminary hearing set for 9 a.m. Aug. 8.
The judge assigned attorney Mark Beauchene to represent Lubitz. Beauchene said he had not yet received information about the case and declined to discuss the matter.
The murder charge against her, a Class AA felony, carries a maximum prison sentence of life without parole, and the attempted murder charge, a Class A felony, has a maximum prison sentence of 20 years.
At 9:39 p.m. May 5, emergency crews were sent to 4530 Bluestem Court S., Unit F, in Fargo for a report of a deceased newborn.
Police found Lubitz in the bathroom, with a large amount of blood on the floor. The newborn, who had been removed from the bathroom, was in the living room with Lubitz’s friend and was pronounced dead at 9:51 p.m., according to court documents.
Two friends of Lubitz had found her in the bathroom after she gave birth. The friends found the newborn face down in about an inch of water, court documents said.
An autopsy of the newborn “indicated an apparent live birth,” according to court documents, which said the cause of death was “drowning from being placed face down in the bathtub.”
Lubitz told police she knew she was pregnant in August or September and saved money to have an abortion, but she believed she had a miscarriage by November. She didn’t realize she was still pregnant until April when she didn’t lose the weight she gained over the winter, court documents said.
Lubitz told police she did not know she was in labor on May 5. She said she took a bath to ease stomach and bowel pain and fell asleep in the tub, court documents said.
She told police that when she awoke, her stomach felt tight. She tried to start the water for a new bath, and as she leaned her stomach on the edge of the tub, she gave birth within a few seconds, court documents said.
Lubitz told police she tried to call 911 but wasn’t able to manipulate her cellphone to get to the dial function. She said she did not remember anything else she did after that, according to court documents.
Web history on her phone showed a search at about 12:20 p.m. for a website about pushing during childbirth. Web history from February and March showed searches for how to abort or terminate late-term or unwanted pregnancies through home methods. When asked about the searches, Lubitz said they were for a 16-year-old relative who was pregnant, court documents stated.