FARGO — A West Fargo woman convicted of drowning her newborn child in a bathtub almost two years ago has been ordered to spend two decades in prison.
On Monday, March 9, Cass County Judge John Irby sentenced Ginny Rose Lubitz, 37, to 25 years with the North Dakota Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, though she only has to serve 20 years if she doesn’t violate the terms of her probation. She also may be eligible for a sentence reduction under state law.
The sentencing hearing was the final chapter in a criminal case that stemmed from the death of Lubtiz's newborn son on May 5, 2018. Lubitz told police she didn’t remember what happened that day after she gave birth to her son around 3 p.m., other than cutting her son’s umbilical cord. The next thing she recalled was being at Sanford Medical Center after her surgery to remove her placenta.
Lubitz said she got into a bathtub that morning and stayed there for nine hours.
More coverage of Ginny Lubitz's murder trial:
Day 1 of testimony: Friends testify in trial of mother charged with drowning newborn in Fargo
Prosecutors argued during Lubitz’s January trial that she planned to kill her child, noting she hid her pregnancy from her friends, didn’t do anything to prepare for her birth and searched online for at-home abortions.
Defense attorney Kevin McCabe said “poor choices due to economic hardship” led to the child’s death, and prosecutors could only speculate about what happened in the bathroom but not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Lubitz was guilty of murder.
The jury disagreed. On Jan. 14, jurors, most of whom were women, unanimously found Lubitz guilty of a Class AA felony of murder, which carries a maximum punishment of life in prison without parole. A second charge of attempted murder was dismissed on Jan. 6, a day before the trial started.