A Black woman had a stillbirth at home. Case charging abuse of a corpse goes to grand jury.

Prosecutors charged Brittany Watts with felony corpse abuse, accusing her of attempting to plunge her home toilet after her miscarriage and delivery of a stillborn baby.

The case of a Black woman from Ohio will soon go to a grand jury after her miscarriage and delivery of a stillborn baby at home, using the bathroom.

According to WKBN, the case against Brittany Watts, 33, will go before a Trumbull County grand jury after investigators discovered a baby stuck in a toilet at her Warren home on Sept. 22.

Brittany Watts Warren Ohio
Brittany Watts, 33, faces corpse abuse charges after investigators found a fetus in her home toilet in September. (Photo: Screenshot/YouTube.com/WKBN)

Prosecutors have charged Watts with felony corpse abuse, accusing her of attempting to plunge the toilet after her miscarriage delivery at 22 weeks.

According to Warren Police Detective Nick Carney, “She said she felt the baby come out and there was a big splash.”

Dr. George Sterbenz, a forensic pathologist, testified that an examination revealed no injury to the fetus and said Watts’ fetus died before going through the birth canal. He noted that Watts’ medical records showed she visited the hospital twice before the birth.

“This fetus was going to be non-viable,” said Sterbenz. “It was going to be non-viable because she had premature ruptured membranes — her water had broken early — and the fetus was too young to be delivered.”


“This 33-year-old girl, with no criminal record, is demonized for something that goes on every day,” said Traci Timko, Watts’ defense attorney.

However, Warren Assistant Prosecutor Lewis Guarnieri contended that at issue wasn’t “how the child died” or when, but that the fetus was left in a toilet and was large enough to clog it “and she went on [with] her day.”

Judge Terry Ivanchak of Warren Municipal Court found probable cause to bind the case over, WKBN reported.

“There are better scholars than I am,” Ivanchak told those assembled, “to determine the exact legal status of this fetus/corpse/body/birthing tissue/whatever it is.”

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