Arizona Woman Convicted of Burying Newborn Son in Backyard Wins Appeal

The Arizona Court of Appeals has overturned the conviction of a Tucson woman for burying her newborn son in the backyard of her home in 2005.


Regina Lockwood was convicted of conspiracy to abandon or conceal a dead human body back in 2008 after she and her friend, then 22-year-old Nicholi Grimm, put the newborn in a bucket and buried it.

She no doubt would've been charged with a more serious crime if the state could've proven that the baby was alive. But it couldn't.

"[Grimm] washed it off like any caring adult would, placed it in the bucket along with all of the other things, and then took out in the backyard and buried it, believing that was the appropriate thing to do," Lockwood's attorney Natasha Wrae claimed to Fox 11 News (KMSB-Tucson) in 2008.

It didn't occur to the pair to maybe call the police if the baby was born dead?

After Lockwood told some friends, Tucson police eventually caught wind of the situation and went to her home with a warrant. 

"They had nothing to hide," claimed Wrae, "so it wasn't as though a warrant was necessarily needed and they took [the cops] right to the back yard, pointed to the ground and said this is where I buried the baby."

Lockwood was convicted in a Pima County Court and sentenced to three years' probation.

You would think getting off with probation for having a dead body discovered in your backyard would be satisfaction enough, Lockwood appealed the conviction to the Arizona Court of Appeals and won.

Judge Garye L. Vásquez wrote in the court's official opinion: "We recognize fetal remains are indisputably of human origin and not alive. Therefore, the Legislature's use of the terms 'dead human body' and 'dead human remains' arguably supports the intuitive conclusion that the statute encompasses fetuses. However, such an interpretation could lead to absurd and potentially unconstitutional results,"

Umm, regardless of how the state defines "fetus," we're still talking about finding a dead human body in someone's backyard right? They found dead dogs in Michael Vick's yard, and he got prison time.


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