(St. Francis County, AR) The attorney for an 18-year-old Arkansas high school student accused of leaving her stillborn child in a closet says she made a mistake, but it wasn't a criminal act.
Rebekah Simpson faced a judge in St Francis County District Court Wednesday afternoon.
She's charged with abusing a corpse, but was released on her own recognizance.
Flanked by her attorneys, Simpson showed no emotion Wednesday in St. Francis County District Court.
District Court Judge Steve Routon released Simpson on her own recognizance.
Attorney Mike Easley is representing Rebekah Simpson.
"Everybody recognizes she's not a flight risk. And she's an honor student and graduated high school last night and just made a bad decision at a very difficult time in her life," said Attorney Mike Easley.
Simpson was charged with abuse of corpse after deputies say she hid the body of her stillborn child in a closet at her home and then went to school.
St. Francis County Sheriff Bobby May said his department began investigating after Simpson went to the emergency room at the hospital in Forrest City.
She was bleeding and at first denied having a baby until she was examined.
Sheriff May said deputies made the grim discovery at the girl's home.
"The baby was born dead. Now that's not to say that if she had had proper medical supervision having this baby, the baby may have lived. We'll never know that," said Sheriff May.
News of what Simpson is accused of doing angered one neighbor, who didn't want to be identified.
"It's a lowdown person, to do a baby like that. And justice needs to be done to her like they done to baby," said the neighbor.
Easley said when all the facts are known, this is not a criminal case.
"It's a case of a scared little girl who didn't notify the police immediately. And that's all there is to it, " said Easley.
Rebekah Simpson is scheduled to be in St. Francis County Circuit Court on September 23rd.