PITTSBURGH – The baby cut from a slain woman's womb last week was released from the hospital Wednesday as a defense attorney said the woman accused of the crime intends to plead not guilty.
Stephanie Waite, a spokeswoman for West Penn Hospital, said the infant was released Wednesday, but she could not say where the child was taken because of patient privacy issues.
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Andrea Curry-Demus, 38, of Wilkinsburg, was charged Sunday with homicide, kidnapping and related offenses in the death of 18-year-old Kia Johnson. Authorities say the two women met at the Allegheny County Jail on July 15 while visiting different inmates.
The body of Johnson, her wrists and ankles bound by duct tape and layers of tape and plastic covering much of her head, was found Friday in Curry-Demus' apartment.
Defense attorney Angela Carsia said a preliminary hearing is scheduled for Friday, but a judge will hold a hearing Thursday to determine if Curry-Demus is mentally competent.
Carsia said she met with Curry-Demus at the jail Tuesday.
"She's not doing that well, but she's there. She's able to communicate with me, as far as that goes," Carsia said Wednesday.
In May 1990, several months after Curry-Demus said she had a miscarriage, she stabbed a woman in an apparent plot to steal her newborn, according to court records. The next day, she kidnapped another baby from a hospital, according to the documents.
Court records from the cases described her as obsessed with getting an infant and noted that she had hallucinations of hearing babies cry. She was twice briefly committed to a state mental hospital while the cases played out in court.
Curry-Demus was found competent at that time, but was also diagnosed with major depression and a mixed personality disorder. Tests also indicated that she had a "borderline intelligence level."
Curry-Demus pleaded guilty in January 1991 to kidnapping, concealment of the whereabouts of child and related offenses and was sentenced to three to 10 years in state prison. She also pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and was placed on probation for 10 years consecutive to her time in the stabbing case. She was released in August 1998.
The Allegheny County's children and youth services department cited privacy issues in refusing to say whether it had custody of Johnson's son. But in cases where a child's parents are unavailable, the child is placed in a foster home until a judge can determine a placement, said Bruce Noel, an intake manager at the agency.
"Our role would always be to look to family and extended family first," he said.
The man identified as the boy's father is in jail waiting trial on a burglary charge. Johnson's mother, Darlene Lee, was not immediately available for comment Wednesday.
Johnson's funeral is scheduled for Friday in McKeesport. Her family has named the boy Terrell Kian Johnson after his mother.