Beecroft sentencing set for May


Nicole Beecroft

After months of waiting, Nicole Beecroft’s retrial proceedings are once again moving forward.

In September 2013, Washington County Judge John Hoffman convicted Beecroft, 24, of Oakdale of second-degree murder in the stabbing death of her newborn daughter.

A status hearing was held Feb. 14, 2014, after having been postponed for three months for several reasons, including defense attorneys’ scheduling conflicts.

Washington County prosecutors have requested an upward departure from state sentencing guidelines, citing aggravating factors, including the vulnerability of the infant and that Beecroft had treated the newborn with “particular cruelty.”

Beecroft has the right to have a jury determine whether or not those factors were present, but her lawyer announced at the hearing that she would be waiving those rights, opting instead to have Hoffman make that determination.

Beecroft had waived her right to a jury trial, for both the 2008 murder trial and the 2013 retrial.

The retrial marks the second time Beecroft has been found guilty of killing the baby girl she gave birth to, alone in the basement of her mother’s home in April 2007.

Oakdale police investigators found the infant’s body, which had been stabbed more than 100 times, wrapped in a towel in a garbage can outside the Beecroft family home. Beecroft was 17 and a senior at Tartan High School at the time. She worked part-time after school at a Cub Foods and did not have a police record.

A hearing for the aggravating factors, in which no additional witness testimony will be given, is scheduled for April 4.

A sentencing date has tentatively been set for May 5.

For more information about Beecroft’s 2008 trial and 2013 retrial, visit www.lillienews.com.

--Johanna Holub
 

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