Trial Date Set for Abilene Mother Accused of Killing Newborn

ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) - A trial date has been set for an Abilene mother accused of killing a newborn just moments after birth in January of 2016. 

Amber Craker, 19, will stand trial for Murder and Tampering with Evidence (Human Corpse) on June 12, 2017. Her alleged co-conspirator, Damian Cate, 23, is facing the same charges, but no trial date has been set for his case.

During a pre-trial hearing Thursday afternoon, a Taylor County Judge decided Craker and Cate would be tried separately for their parts in the crime. State prosecutors want to Cate to face trial after Craker, but his defense team is worried about the pre-trial publicity, especially if Craker's trial comes first. 

He requested a pool of 200 people for the jury instead of the typical 48.

A motion to suppress crime scene photographs that show stabbing injuries to the baby was also reviewed during the pre-trial hearing, but the judge stated he cannot rule on the pictures until they are presented during trial.  

Craker and Cate were arrested within one day after the body of a newborn baby was found in a trash can inside a home on the 400 block of S. 25th Street on January 18, 2016. An autopsy report reveals she was killed by "multiple sharp force injuries".

Additional documents say, "Damian Cate confessed to Abilene Police Officers. . . that he held the baby while Amber Craker cut the baby's throat. Cate then assisted in putting the baby in the trash can and cleaning up lots of blood."

An arrest report reveals the Craker admitted to police that she caused 'obvious injury' to the baby before placing it in the trash can, and Cate's arrest report says he told police he held the baby while Craker caused the 'obvious injury'.

The newborn, named Baby Ashley by Abilene Police Officers who donated her headstone and funeral, was laid to rest days after her death in a cemetery near North 10th and Cottonwood Street during a private ceremony Wednesday afternoon.

Craker spent some time at a psychiatric facility after she was deemed incompetent to stand trial, but she has since been transferred back to the Taylor County Jail where she is awaiting her day in court while in jail on bonds totaling $300,000.

Cate bonded out of jail in May after a judge reduced his bond from $400,000 to $100,000.


More Stories

Don't Miss

Trending Stories

Latest News