EVERETT, Wash. - The Everett teen who admitted to police she left her newborn baby in a dumpster was in jail less than 24 hours.
A judge released her Friday, but she faces felony abandonment charges and jail time.
Neighbors said Samantha Houston lived in the Everett apartment complex where the dumpster is located but moved out recently.
A couple found the baby boy on March 25, hours after he was born.
On Friday, they reacted with sympathy for the woman accused of leaving him there.
“We’ve always wondered what her condition was,” Jeff Meyers said of the mother.
He wasn’t sure he would ever find out, because he doubted she would be found; When he found out the police had arrested the teen they believe gave birth to the baby, Meyers and his girlfriend discovered in a dumpster, he was shocked, yet sympathetic.
“At this point, I don’t think we have room to put judgment towards anybody,” Meyers explained. “She was obviously in a panic at the time, and I’m sure she’s really scared right now.”
Houston appeared in Snohomish County court Friday and was released under a few conditions, including no contact with her alleged child, known as “Baby Doe.”
Everett police said Houston admitted she delivered the baby in the shower, then left the baby boy in a dumpster. An anonymous caller told police Houston was 7 to 8 months pregnant when she dropped out of Cascade High School and returned a month later, no longer pregnant and unwilling to answer questions about the baby.
She faces up to five years in jail.
“I can’t say whether she should be punished or not punished,” Meyers said. “The baby was rescued, will be adopted and is going to a good home. That’s the best story that there possibly is.”
According to court cases
, the punishment for abandoning a baby varies greatly, because the charges vary greatly from gross misdemeanor to felony assault if the baby was injured. A Thurston County woman was sentenced to 10 years in prison, while a Seattle woman only got community service.
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