GOSHEN - A medical issue prevented jail officials from bringing a Newburgh woman charged with abandoning her newborn son in a motel room toilet to court for an attempted murder arraignment.
Teresa Smith, 23, has been indicted on felony charges including attempted second-degree murder, first-degree assault and abandonment of a child. She has been in Orange County Jail on $25,000 bail or $50,000 bond since her early November arrest, and was slated for arraignment Thursday.
That didn’t happen.
Judge Craig Brown called the case. As Smith’s lawyer, Donalda Gillies of the Legal Aid Society of Orange County, and Assistant District Attorney Janine Kovacs stepped up, Brown told them “I was informed by the jail, they can’t produce her because - You want to approach?”
After conferring briefly with the lawyers at the bench, Brown moved on without saying anything on the record about the nature of Smith’s issue.
Brown informed the lawyers that his clerk, Jude Martini, was the Town of Newburgh justice who arraigned Smith at her initial arrest. The lawyers will have to decide if they believe that creates a conflict for Brown and could merit a new judge.
Brown rescheduled Smith’s arraignment for Friday.
If the jail still can’t bring her to court, “we’ll see if we can do it remotely, or take a trip to the jail, like we would do a hospital arraignment,” Brown told the lawyers.
Officials say that on Nov. 1, Smith gave birth to a boy at a motel on Route 9W in the Town of Newburgh. She left the newborn in the motel room toilet and left in a cab just after noon that day. The motel owner who went to clean the room just after Smith left found significant amounts of blood in the room and called police, officials said. Police found the baby unresponsive and cold to the touch in the toilet. As they began trying to revive him, the boy started moving.
Police found Smith a couple of hours later. She spent the night at a hospital for treatment, and police charged her the next day with felony reckless endangerment.
Orange County Jail Capt. Paul Arteta said Smith was “not medically cleared for transport,” but was not ill.