Man says he was holdout juror in baby death trial



EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — A 59-year-old University of Oregon custodian says he’s the lone juror who refused to vote for conviction in the murder trial of a 24-year-old hotel clerk accused of killing her newborn son.

George Bruce tells The Register-Guard that he disagreed with the jury’s other 11 members, who believed that Angelica Swartout fatally smothered a baby shortly after giving birth.

Swartout was accused of suffocating the baby in an employee bathroom at the hotel where she worked and putting the remains in a garbage can. Investigators searched the county landfill, but didn’t find any remains.

Bruce says he believes the Springfield woman told the truth when she testified at her Circuit Court trial that she had faked an advancing pregnancy after an apparent miscarriage to continue receiving support from her family.

Swartout told jurors she only confessed to killing an infant to avoid exposing the lie and because she was sleep-deprived. Prosecutors charged her with aggravated murder, but didn’t seek the death penalty.

The jury deadlocked last month. Judge Suzanne Chanti set a new trial date of April 16.


Information from: The Register-Guard,