By CHARITY B. SMITH
Sunday Times Newspapers
WYANDOTTE — A 26-year-old Wyandotte woman was sentenced to by Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Bruce Morrow to 9 to 20 years in prison Oct. 26 for killing her newborn son.
Kimberly Pappas, accepted a plea deal Oct. 7, and pled guilty to the reduced charge of second degree murder. Pappas was originally charged with felony murder, first degree murder, and first degree child abuse and was facing life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Pappas gave birth to a seemingly healthy baby boy March 31 in the bathroom of her place of employment in Redford Township. She then took the baby and placed him in a plastic bag and put him in a tote bag next to her desk.
An employee noticed blood in the bathroom and contacted authorities. The baby was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital. An autopsy later reviled that the baby had suffocated after 20 to 30 minutes in the plastic bag.
Pappas’ attorney, Raymond Cassar, said Pappas believed the baby to have been still born. During sentencing he requested that the judge order her to have psychological help.
“I am convinced that there are mental health issues here,” Cassar said, “while the forensic center seems to have disagreed with me. After spending a great deal of time with her I am seeing there is clearly a disconnect.”
During her sentencing her father, James Pappas, gave a victim impact statement as the baby’s grandfather, but directed his speech toward his daughter. He told his daughter that they would always love and support her no matter what.
“Kimberly, we love you very much,” he said. “I know that will continue. There is no end to that. It is an unconditional love. We will support you with as many visits as we can. Your mother and I encourage you to take care of yourself. Be safe.”
Kimberly Pappas thanked her parents for all their love and support and then expressed her sorrow for her actions.
“The pain and regret that I have about this really can’t be put into words,” she said. “I’m sorry. I wish I had made the right choices.”
Morrow gave Kimberly Pappas credit for the 185 days she has already served. She will need to serve another eight-and-a-half years before becoming eligible for parole in 2024.
She has 21 days to appeal the sentence.
(Charity B. Smith can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.)