Abilene mother found guilty of Capital Murder

Editor's Note: Click here for a recap of testimony heard during Day One of the trial, click here for a recap of testimony heard during Day Two of the trial, and click here for a recap of testimony heard during Day Three of the trial. 

ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) - An Abilene mother accused of killing her newborn just moments after birth in January of 2016 has been found guilty of Capital Murder and Tampering with Evidence. 

After nearly 5 hours of deliberation, a jury of 12 handed the guilty verdict down to Amber Craker Thursday afternoon. She was originally charged with Capital Murder, Injury to a Child, and Tampering with Physical Evidence. 

Craker will receive a life sentence without the chance of parole for Capital Murder plus an additional 19 years for the Tampering with Evidence charge. The sentences will be run concurrently.  Her defense team tried to object the life without parole sentence because of her low IQ, but that obejction was overrulled. 

During the reading of the verdict, Craker sobbed uncontrollably and when asked if she had any final words to say in court, she replied, "I'm sorry for everything I did."

Craker's trial began Monday and testimony lasted through Wednesday morning, with witnesses such a forensic experts, police detectives, and Abilene ISD faculty giving testimony on what likely happened the day Baby Ashley Craker was killed. 

The trial revealed Baby Ashley's throat was slit and she was stabbed at least 3 times, wounds Craker claimed were inflicted when her hand slipped while trying to cut the umbilical cord. 

Craker also claimed she was alone during the birth and used a washcloth to mute her screams, though her boyfriend and co-defendant Damian Cate, said he was present and even held the baby for at least 20 minutes after she was born. 

Baby Ashley's body was eventually found in a trashcan hours after Craker's parents rushed her to the hospital to receive surgery due to the large amount of bleeding she experienced following the birth. 

Cate is set to stand trial beginning on January 16, 2017. He's facing the same charges as Craker - Capital Murder, Injury to a Child, and Tampering with Physical Evidence.  

BigCountryHomepage will continue to follow this case as Cate proceeds to court. Check back for the latest information. 


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