Attorneys for Samantha Green on Monday said a diagnosed congenital heart disease may have contributed to her newborn’s death and provided other details of the child’s final hours at a Yolo Superior Court hearing.
Green remains in Yolo County custody on a murder charge in the February death of her son, Justice Rees, whose body was found in a remote slough near Knights Landing 20 days after his birth.
Green, who went missing with Justice, had “her baby on her chest, cuddled and covered in a coat all night long,” in the nighttime February cold, Yolo County Public Defender Tracie Olson told Yolo Superior Court Judge David Rosenberg. Olson said Green fell asleep and awoke to find her baby had died.
“Still, that was all night long for her baby on a cold February night,” Yolo County Deputy District Attorney Ryan Couzens countered. “She left him out there.”
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“The manner of death is not complicated,” Couzens said, adding that environmental exposure led to the death of a newborn clad only in a “wet onesie and a diaper on a cold February night.”
The exchange came at the end of a hearing to determine whether jail medical intake paperwork could be available for discovery or would remain under seal. A court gag order was earlier placed on the case.
Olson also sought a September pre-hearing conference to have enough time to consult an expert to review autopsy and cause of death findings and prepare to cross-examine county medical examiners. Rosenberg set a prehearing conference for Sept. 10.