Abilene Couple Accused of Killing Newborn to Attend Pre-trial Hearing

ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) - An Abilene couple accused of killing a newborn just moments after birth in January of 2016 is scheduled to have a pre-trial hearing Thursday afternoon.

Amber Craker, 19, and Damian Cate, 23, are set to appear at the Taylor County Courthouse at 1:30 p.m. for the hearing, where a judge will decide if the couple, both charged with Murder and Tampering with Evidence (Human Corpse), will stand trial separate or together. 

KTAB and KRBC will have a crew at the hearing to provide the latest updates on this case from court.

An official trial date has not been determined, but online court records show it could take place as early as June 12, 2017.

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 daus 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.


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