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College Student Sentenced for Baby Death

November 13, 2003

CLARION, Pa. (AP) _ A former Clarion University student will spend at least nine months in jail for the death of her newborn son, whose body was found in a trash bin near a women’s dormitory.

Clarion County Judge James Arner on Wednesday sentenced Karen Mako to nine months to two years on her plea of no contest last month to involuntary manslaughter in her son’s death in October 2002.

Mako, 21, also was sentenced to seven years of probation and ordered to do community service for her guilty pleas to charges of concealing the death of a child and abuse of a corpse.

Mako’s attorney, Blair Hindman, noted that the sentence was much less than the 10 years she could have received.

``I don’t think this girl will ever commit a crime again. I think she will move beyond this,″ Hindman said.

Attempts to reach prosecutors by telephone were unsuccessful Wednesday evening.

State police have said Mako, of Darlington, about 30 miles northwest of Pittsburgh, told them she concealed her pregnancy from everyone, including her boyfriend.

State police said she told them she gave birth in a dormitory shower and then wrapped the infant _ whom she said she believed to be dead _ in paper towels and put his body in a duffel bag. The body was found two days later in the bag on top of a trash bin at the school, authorities said. An autopsy indicated the child may have suffocated.

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