Wednesday, June 27, 2001

Woman pleads
not guilty in death
of her baby

The Kauai nursing student
was charged with murder

By Anthony Sommer

A woman whose newborn baby was found in a rice sack in a garbage container has pleaded not guilty to a charge she killed the child.

Christine Robles, 21, made the plea yesterday in Kauai Circuit Court. She was indicted on a charge of second-degree murder by a grand jury last week.

Robles is a nursing student at Kauai Community College who lives in Koloa with her parents and two siblings. Police said she apparently hid her pregnancy from her family.

On April 30, a neighbor called paramedics and they found Robles unconscious. As paramedics took her to Wilcox Memorial Hospital they realized she had just given birth and police were sent to the home to search for a baby.

Police found Robles' father cleaning the floor of the home with a garden hose. An officer found the dead baby boy, who later was named Benny, in a rice sack inside a trash container in the back yard of the family home.

An autopsy showed the baby had suffocated. Robles was booked after being released from the hospital but not held at the time pending further investigation.

Bond was set at $20,000 but Circuit Judge Clifford Nakea will rule later on a motion to reduce bail to $10,000 and place her under the supervision of her parents.

Her trial date was set for Sept. 10.

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