Dinwiddie mother’s first-degree murder charges downgraded

Posted at 12:40 AM, Mar 26, 2014
and last updated 2014-03-26 00:40:46-04

DINWIDDIE COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) - In October, 22-year old Devin Small was arrested and charged in the death of her newborn baby.

Deputies were called to a home on Namozine Rd., where Small gave birth in the bathroom. Once deputies arrived officials found Small and said the baby was dead in the toilet.

Small was originally charged with first degree murder after deputies said she didn't try to save her baby after she delivered.

However, on Tuesday Small entered a plea agreement where she will now plead guilty to involuntary manslaughter and receive a suspended sentence.

"The prosecutor realized after we spoke to them that this was an accidental killing," said Small's attorney, Joe Morrissey.

Morrisey said his client went home after choir practice and had no idea she was about to go into labor.

"She yelled for her grandmother twice to call police, and I can assure you somebody who has malice in their heart and is going to commit a murder doesn't call 911 twice," said Morrissey.

CBS 6 reached out to the Dinwiddie Commonwealth's Attorney Tuesday. She was not in the office.

"I know it's hard for people to understand how could you act this way with respect to this little child and then end up with manslaughter," said CBS 6 Legal Expert, Todd Stone.

Stone said it's common to see prosecutors start off by going for the highest charge they can.

"When they get close to the court date it comes down to something that makes a little more sense because they have trouble with evidence," said Stone.