Baby-Dump Mom Pleads Guilty To Manslaughter
A 29-year-old Woodside woman is facing 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to first-degree manslaughter for tossing her newborn daughter in a hospital trashcan in May, 2011.
Dawa Lama admitted to tossing the baby inside a trash can in an Emergency Room bathroom at Elmhurst Hospital Center on May 10, 2011, Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown said.
Brown said Lama went to the hospital seeking prenatal care and went to the bathroom after experiencing pain in her abdomen. She gave birth to the baby inside the hospital bathroom shortly before 2:50 p.m. and left the infant clinging to life in the trashcan.
Police tracked down Lama through hospital video surveillance and found her, less than three hours later, sleeping at her apartment on 65th Street at about 5:20 p.m. Lama was charged with assault, reckless endangerment, child abandonment and endangering the welfare of a child.
A hospital spokesperson said an Emergency Room worker discovered the full-term baby moments after Lama left the hospital and immediately alerted medical personnel. The baby was stabilized and then transferred to Long Island Jewish Hospital.
Lama’s boyfriend, Bishmu Gurung, 28, denied, at the time, any knowledge of the pregnancy, but assumed full responsibility for the baby and kept vigil at the L.I. Jewish Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit where the baby was treated, authorities said.
The baby, who was named Mingmar Gurung, was kept on life support for one week before she passed away.
Under New York State law, new mothers may safely leave a baby, within five days of its birth, at any city hospital, firehouse or police station – no questions asked and without fear of prosecution.
Brown said in a prepared statement that the guilty plea was a “just and fair disposition to a sad case involving a very troubled young woman.
“The defendant has been held accountable for what was a serious but avoidable crime,” Brown said.
Lama is scheduled to be sentenced on April 16.