NewsLocal News


Petersburg mother found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in newborn’s death

Posted at 1:29 PM, Mar 31, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-01 20:57:39-04

PETERSBURG, Va. -- A Petersburg mother on trial for the second time in the death of her newborn baby was convicted on two lesser felony charges Friday afternoon.

Kadijah Stewart Mungin, 22, was charged with first-degree murder and concealing a dead body. That charges carried a possible life sentence.

A jury of nine men and three women deliberated for about four hours before finding Mungin guilty of involuntary manslaughter and unlawful disposal of a body.

The jury is now hearing final statements from the prosecution and defense regarding sentencing.

Mungin faces up to 15 years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

According to investigators, Mungin was 21 years old when she asphyxiated her son, Joshua Robert Mungin, inside her Fort Rice Street home and hid his body in September 2014. Joshua was less than a day old.

During the second of the three day trial, the Assistant Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Kevin Whaley says he found a “significant amount of tissues” stuffed inside the newborn’s throat during his autopsy.

The official cause of death was ruled asphyxiation. The autopsy showed there were no drugs were alcohol present in the baby’s body.

Kadijah Stewart Mungin

Kadijah Stewart Mungin

A computer forensics expert who analyzed Mungin’s search history said from January 2014 through September 2014, the young mother searched for the terms “pregnancy,” “miscarriage,” and “abortion.” The analysis also showed Mungin viewed news articles about women who were accused of killing their newborns, including a article.

The defense pointed out from the same search history analysis Mungin viewed web pages and Youtube videos related to child rearing and baby names.

In court Wednesday, prosecutors played a video of a Petersburg detective interviewing Mungin.

She told him she wasn't feeling well the night of September 7, 2014 -- felt like she had to use the restroom -- and gave birth to the newborn in the toilet.

She said she panicked, wrapped a towel around the newborn's body and face, and basically smothered the child.

The morning after that happened, Mungin admitted to lying to police, her family and nurses at Southside Regional Medical Center. She told them she had a miscarriage and flushed the fetus down the toilet.

Officers searched Mungin's home and found the baby wrapped in a trash bag under Mungin's bed.

During the interview -- the investigator asked the 21- year old why she did this?

She said she was scared and "freaked out" and that she didn't want to disappoint her family.

Members of Mungin's family were in court and politely declined to comment on the case.

Mungin’s first trial ended in a mistrial.