FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WNCN/WBTV CBS Newspath) — The husband of a woman accused of tossing her newborn baby out of a car nearly 21 years ago in Cumberland County is now speaking out.
Charles O’Connor says he was home deputies knocked on the door and arrested his wife Deborah on a first-degree murder charge.
He explained, “When he said first-degree murder, my heart dropped. My heart dropped.”
Deputies said in March 1999, Deborah O’Connor stuffed her newborn baby boy in a trash bag and tossed him out of a car in Fayetteville.
When no one came forward, the case went cold.
”We always say you get hardened by the job you do, but any time it involved a child, elderly person, it really hits home,” Cumberland County Sheriff Ennis Wright said of the case.
Recent DNA testing helped link Deborah O’Connor to the crime, Wright said.
Charles O’Connor didn’t know his wife back then and says she never mentioned anything about it.
“DNA don’t lie,” he said. “I would be stupid if I sat here and told you,’no, I don’t believe it’.”
When investigators arrested O’Connor in her Morganton home they say she admitted the baby was hers.
”We hope sometimes that you would make the right choice, but in this situation, the right choice wasn’t made,” said Wright.
Despite acknowledging the evidence, Charles O’Connor is choosing to stand by his wife.
”Debbie is not a murderer,” he said. “She is not a cold-blooded murderer.”
Deborah O’Connor is in the Cumberland County Jail. If convicted, officials said she could face life in prison or the death penalty.
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