June 25, 1997 in Nation/World

Teenager Accused Of Dumping Baby At Prom Faces Murder Rap

Associated Press

A teenager who gave birth at her prom and then returned to the dance floor was charged with murder Tuesday after an autopsy concluded the baby was strangled and left in a plastic bag taken from the sanitary-napkin receptacle in the bathroom.

Prosecutors said 18-year-old Melissa Drexler may have even used the sharp edge of the receptacle to cut the umbilical cord before dumping the body of the newborn boy in a trash can June 6.

A grim-looking Drexler, wearing a flowered skirt and a blue denim top with matching nail polish, surrendered with her parents and stood before a judge Tuesday to face the charges of murder and endangering the welfare of a child.

If convicted, Drexler could get life in prison. Prosecutors said they do not plan to seek the death penalty.

About an hour later, after posting $50,000 bail, Drexler emerged from the courthouse and walked into a sea of reporters, photographers and cameramen. She got into a black Chevy Blazer and appeared on the verge of tears.

© Copyright 1997 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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