Mother charged with murdering newborn tried hiding pregnancy

Posted at 1:22 PM, Oct 02, 2013
and last updated 2013-10-03 06:45:50-04

DINWIDDIE COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) -  The mother of a newborn baby found dead in a toilet over the weekend has been arrested in connection with the child's death, and is being held without bond at the Meherrin Regional Jail.

Devin Monique Small

Devin Monique Small

The Commonwealth’s Attorney charged Devin Monique Small, 22, with first-degree murder Wednesday and called the investigation ongoing.

Deputies were called to a home along the 18000 block of Namozine Rd. early Saturday morning after Small gave birth in the bathroom.

"Upon arrival deputies located the mother, and the baby was still in the toilet," a sheriff's office spokesperson wrote in a media advisory. "The baby was deceased upon arrival."

Kevin Wooten said two weeks ago Smith, his best friend, told him she was pregnant. She said her family didn't know.

"We were standing out cracking jokes and I looked at her stomach and I said, 'Hold on for a minute.  You want to talk about this?'” he recalled. “She looked down and laughed and said,  'It's just good eating.'I put my hand on her stomach and said, 'That's not what good eating feels like.'"

Wooten claimed a few seconds later Small said, “It’s true.”  He said it was clearly an admission, but that she told him, “My parents don't know."

Fast forward to early Saturday morning when a 911 call was made. Law enforcement sources said a woman told dispatchers Small was having a baby and that it was in the toilet.

"I feel sorry for that child. It never got a chance,” Wooten said.

Law enforcement sources said there were at least three other women inside the house at the time, and aware of the child’s birth,  but each failed to remove the newborn from danger.

"I'm very shocked,” Wooten said.  “As close as that family was, especially after Mr. Small passed, I'm shocked nobody stepped in to save that baby."

Virginia's Safe Haven law states parents have the ability to deliver an infant up to 14 days after birth to a hospital with 24-hour emergency care or to a rescue squad with no fear of criminal or civil liability.

Wooten wished his friend followed those instructions.

"I will stand by my friend regardless. She's always been there for me, so I will be there for her," he said.

We tried to get Small's family to talk Wednesday night, but no one would answer the door.  Devin Small remains at Meherrin River Regional Jail with no bond