The woman convicted of killing her newborn baby girl and leaving her body in a dumpster says she takes responsibility for what she did. But the only thing Nicole DeJaynes admits she did wrong is not seeking help, after she maintains the baby was stillborn. Our Kat De Maria was in court for DeJaynes' sentencing Monday.
ONONDAGA COUNTY, N.Y. -- "Everybody is so quick to judge. Everybody loves a monster. But I am not a monster."
It's a quirk of the justice system that the person heard least during the process is the one alleged to have committed a crime.
In the case of 30-year-old Nicole DeJaynes, the conversation about what led her to newborn baby girl to be found dead and cold in a Liverpool dumpster has been going on for a year-and-a-half. As she received 13 years in prison Monday, we finally heard from DeJaynes, whose lawyer has said she did not know she was pregnant and panicked when her baby was stillborn.
"She deserved to have somebody else see if they could have done for her what I myself was unable to do. But I could not hurt my little girl. She deserves the next 13 years of my life," DeJaynes said.
DeJaynes pleaded guilty earlier this month. The lawyers involved say her trial would have been experts debating whether the baby girl was born alive. But the emotion of the case, which moved the Liverpool community to name and adopt her in death, came from DeJaynes' selection of her child's final resting place.
"Obviously it's not a choice everyone would make or someone in full possession of their faculties at the time might make. But in a panicked situation, not knowing what to do, that was the choice she made here," said defense attorney Tom Ryan.
Prosecutors characterize DeJaynes, who had been pregnant four times before, as delusional and selfish.
"The fact she spent the time today talking about what this did to her and how this is going to affect her for 13 years really speaks volumes," First Chief Assistant District Attorney Rick Trunfio said.
Through the type of plea she entered, Nicole DeJaynes did not have to admit or even say she killed or hurt her baby. This, along with her comments in court, were sore spots for her critics.
Trunfio said, "What I take umbrage to is today her denying she did anything wrong except panic. That just is not true. That would not have been borne out by the evidence."
The conversation about what happened to little Isabella Marie may continue. But no one will hear from Nicole DeJaynes again for awhile.
DeJaynes has a son who is staying with family. She also gave birth to two other children, whom she gave up for adoption.