Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Dad indicted on aggravated murder charge in smothering death of newborn daughter (Washington County, Ohio)

Dad LANDON C. EVANS has been indicted for killing his newborn daughter and then burning the body. This sh** is also accused of beating his underage "girlfriend" in the hopes of inducing a miscarriage.

Details emerge in baby’s case
Grand jury indicts man on 7 felony counts including murder

By Kate York,
POSTED: March 31, 2010

The former Washington County resident indicted Tuesday for allegedly killing his newborn daughter apparently tried several times to induce a miscarriage before the child was born.

Landon C. Evans, 26, who lived most recently in Lake County, Fla., and is now incarcerated at the Washington County Jail, was indicted by a Washington County Grand Jury on seven felony counts related to the June 2008 killing, including aggravated murder, unlawful sexual conduct with a minor, gross abuse of a corpse and tampering with evidence.

Evans is accused of having a sexual relationship with an underage girl that resulted in a pregnancy, helping deliver the baby at a Marietta motel and then killing the infant and burning the body.

Washington County Assistant Prosecutor Kevin Rings said Tuesday that Evans wanted to kill the baby to cover up the sex crime and had tried on several occasions to terminate the pregnancy.

"At one time he had the (15-year-old) girl stand up and he struck her as violently as he could in the stomach repeatedly," said Rings. "He also checked on the Internet to find herbs that could be taken that might lead to a spontaneous miscarriage."

Investigators believe Evans ultimately smothered the baby after she was born. The child was first buried, but later exhumed and burned in a remote location, all due to concern about DNA testing, said Rings.

"He was concerned about the body being available for DNA testing and being found to be the father," said Rings. "After they buried it, he was then concerned that someone had seen them or that the body might not stay covered and it could still be tested so they... built a campfire and burned it."

Evans, one of 24 people to be indicted Tuesday, is expected to be arraigned on the charges April 7. He potentially faces the death penalty for the crimes but prosecutors have not said yet whether that will be pursued.

A second person has been charged in the case in Washington County Juvenile Court but the name and charge has not been released.

The investigation into the murder began in December when the baby's mother, now 18 and incarcerated at the Washington County Juvenile Center on unrelated charges, told authorities about the death.