By: Benjamin Lloyd
EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. (KOAA/Court TV) — A Colorado woman was sentenced Friday to 55 years in prison after pleading guilty to killing her newborn daughter and burying the child on her family’s property.
Amy Grace Carr strangled the newborn shortly after giving birth in early 2021. Her parents found the child buried face up a few days later and called 911, according to an arrest affidavit. The parents had no idea their daughter was sexually active or pregnant, said investigators.
Rather than go to trial on a first-degree murder charge, Carr pleaded guilty to 2 felonies, second-degree murder and tampering with a deceased human body.
The agreement with the 21-year-old stipulates she will serve 48 years in prison for the murder charge and 7 years in prison for the tampering charge. The sentences are to run consecutively and will be followed by a mandatory 5-year parole term after her release, even if she is released early. If the case had gone to trial, Carr faced a maximum life sentence.
She had previously pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity following an evaluation by her defense counsel. During the plea hearing, the judge asked Carr if she was clear-headed at the time or if she has taken any medication related to mental health treatment. Carr stated that she was clear-headed and medications did not having an impact on her plea agreement.
Carr told the judge she didn’t remember how she killed her newborn. She claimed she had no idea what she was doing at the time, which the judge said would lead him to reject the plea agreement if she could not recall. The purpose of the questioning was to determine the defendant’s state of mind while entering a plea.
Under continued questioning, Carr confirmed she attempted to cause a miscarriage by various measures, sent text messages to her boyfriend about killing the child, and that she knew leaving the child outside would kill the newborn. She also confirmed she attempted to hide the body in a shallow grave as she was ‘afraid of criminal charges.’
During the sentencing, the prosecutor noted there was no one in the courtroom to speak on behalf of the newborn ‘Lily,’ including Carr’s family. The prosecutor said Lily was born healthy and there was no reason she would have lived if not for Carr’s actions. Text messages between the defendant and her boyfriend detailed attempts to cause a miscarriage, expressed surprise the girl was born healthy, and what it took to strangle the child.
The prosecutor told the court he has witnessed the defendant cry at times, but does not believe any tears were ever shed for her daughter, but instead were an expression of fear for the consequences.
In the same sentencing hearing, the defense argued the defendant never acknowledged the pregnancy nor ever made a connection with her fetus, which impacted the mother’s mental health. Her attorney detailed an upbringing in a troubled home, including a history of sexual abuse, neglect, and her siblings being removed from the home back when her parents were living in southern California.
The attorney read from a mental health evaluation of Carr stating all of these circumstances in her life led up to not understanding the bond between a parent and a child, contributing to the events surrounding the killing of the newborn.
Carr has remained in the El Paso County Detention Center being held without bond since her arrest in 2021.
This story was originally published by KOAA in Colorado Springs, an E.W. Scripps Company.