COOK COUNTY CRIMINAL COURTHOUSE — The Uptown woman who dropped her newborn baby from an eighth-story window "doesn't deserve murder charges," the baby's grandmother said Thursday.
Her defense attorneys argued that "psychological" factors played a role in the actions of a "confused older teenager," while prosecutors framed it as "exceptionally brutal or heinous behavior." The judge ordered her held without bail.
Mubashra Uddin, 19, gave birth to a full-term baby girl inside the bedroom she shares with her younger sister about 11:20 p.m. Nov. 11, according to authorities. When Uddin heard her mother approach the room, she opened a window and dropped the child eight stories.
Uddin had hidden the pregnancy from her parents, who didn't approve of Uddin's boyfriend, prosecutors said.
"Baby Jane Uddin," as she's referred to in court documents, died just before 1 a.m. Nov. 12 at a nearby hospital. Uddin is charged with first-degree murder and being held without bail.
After a hearing Thursday, the boyfriend's mother — who asked not to be named to protect her son's privacy — said "no one is mad or upset because we all know the household that she's coming from."
She went on to say that Uddin's parents, who are Muslim and of Pakistani descent, are "very, very strict" and pulled Uddin out of school once they discovered she had a boyfriend. Uddin's family declined to speak with press Thursday, but her attorney said Uddin is "extremely contrite" and depressed.
"At a very young age she [Uddin] had a lot of things to live up to especially, [sic] being born to a Muslim immigrant family," longtime friend Nina O. wrote in a letter submitted to court on Thursday. "Sometimes she felt under pressure to be this perfect daughter that would get good grades, go to college, and raise her family up."
TO READ NINA'S LETTER AND EIGHT OTHERS, SCROLL DOWN.
"She just wasn't in the right state of mind," Uddin's boyfriend's mother said. "She doesn't deserve the charges, murder charges."
Of her grandchild, the woman added: "I would've taken her if I could."
According to prosecutors, Uddin found out she was pregnant by her boyfriend in February and only told the boyfriend and one friend. Uddin wore loose clothing and never sought medical attention, Assistant State's Attorney Pat Turnock said during a bond hearing Thursday.
Uddin gave birth to the 7-pound, 11-ounce baby girl while her younger sister slept in the family's apartment in the 800 block of West Eastwood Avenue on Nov. 11, authorities said. Police found blood on Uddin's sheets and window, as well as the pair of scissors she allegedly used to cut the umbilical cord.
As Uddin's mother walked toward the bedroom, Uddin opened her window, held the baby out head-first and let go, Turnock said. The child initially survived the fall, but suffered complex skull fractures, a fractured spine, a broken shoulder and forearm, fractured ribs, a lacerated liver, a lacerated aorta, blood in her abdomen and multiple bruises.
A passerby who spotted the baby wrapped her in his shirt, retrieved two baby blankets from his nearby home and waited for an ambulance, Turnock said. The girl died at Weiss Hospital at 12:57 a.m. on Nov. 12.
Uddin's attorney Barry Sheppard on Thursday asked Cook County Judge James Brown for a bond reduction. Uddin has been held without bail since Saturday. She is currently receiving residential treatment at Cermak Hospital.
"Standing before you is a heartbroken and sad individual ... She is a confused older teenager," Sheppard said, adding that "certainly there are great psychological factors to explore in this case."
Turnock argued that Uddin should be held without bail because the infant's death "resulted from exceptionally brutal or heinous behavior indicative of wanton cruelty."
"The act of dropping a newborn out of an eighth-story window, to its eventual death, is exceedingly evil and exceedingly cruel."
Brown ordered Uddin held without bail and required her to surrender her passport in case a future judge allowed a bail reduction at a later date.
Uddin's mother cried when Brown announced his decision. Several of Uddin's relatives, including both parents, and one of her grade-school counselors attended Thursday's hearing. Uddin slowly waved to her parents as deputies escorted her out of the courtroom.
Sheppard said he plans to ask another judge for a bond reduction in coming weeks.
He filed a five-page motion to set bail on Thursday, and included nine letters from Uddin's friends that describe her actions on Nov. 11 as out-of-character. Read the entire motion and letters below:
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