FARGO — A jury was sworn in and opening statements were made Wednesday, Jan. 8, in the murder trial of Ginny Rose Lubitz who's accused of drowning her newborn son in a bathtub in May 2018.
“This is a case about a little boy whose mother gave birth to him and put him in the bathtub to drown,” prosecutor Tracy Hines said in her opening statement in Cass County District Court. “He didn’t even have a name.”
Hines referred to the baby — dead since May 5, 2018 — as “Baby Boy Lubitz.”
“You’ll hear in this trial that the defendant cut the umbilical cord and remembers nothing more,” Hines said. “But she just didn’t want to deal with it. She was home alone in the bathroom when she gave birth, and remained there for six hours afterward alone. She didn’t call 911. She didn’t call friends. She didn’t call anyone. Instead she put the little baby in the bathtub.”
Lubitz’s attorney, Kevin McCabe, didn’t disagree with the prosecution's stance that Baby Boy Lubitz was born alive.
“The only issue in this case is if Ginny Lubitz did anything intentionally,” McCabe said in his opening statement. “We are here today because in May 2018, Ginny Lubtiz gave birth to a child. She was alone in that home because she had nowhere else to go. She was basically couch jumping. She could not afford the costs of health care. These were poor choices that led to the death of her child. Nothing more.”
McCabe argued that Lubitz made repeated attempts to save her child, including cutting and tying off the umbilical cord and cleaning her baby, but remembers little else due to a massive loss of blood.
Witnesses in the case, Tina Vondal and Kelly McIntyre, met Lubitz at the Flying J Travel Center in Fargo, where they were all at one time employed. Lubitz lost her home, and was staying with Vondal at her south Fargo home, at the time of the birth, Vondal said.
Vondal and McIntyre said in court that they were worried about Lubitz, who before the birth denied that she was pregnant. McIntyre said Lubitz also repeatedly refused medical help after Vondal and McIntyre entered the upstairs bathroom where the birth occurred.
“She said, ‘No, because of what I did,’” McIntyre said. “I didn’t want to know what she meant.”
After Lubitz unlocked the door, McIntyre had to push her way into the bathroom where she encountered "blood everywhere," McIntyre said.
“I asked her what happened, and if she had a baby, and where was the baby, because it was completely quiet,” McIntyre said, adding that Lubitz told her the baby was in the bathtub.
The baby “was face down in the tub, in water. His head was towards the drain, and he was straight against the wall of the tub," McIntyre said. "He had dark hair, and perfect. He was clean. I picked him up, and I found a towel, and I wrapped him up like I would wrap up a baby."
“The only thing that seemed different to me is that he had a long white mark all the way down his body. I could tell he had been cleaned off," McIntyre said. "The fingernails were perfectly clean."
McIntyre said she placed the baby in the bathroom sink and later carried him downstairs. Firefighters found Baby Boy Lubitz in the living room, according to court documents.
Lubitz, 37, of West Fargo, faces one charge of murder. The prosecution previously dropped a charge of attempted murder. The trial will continue at 9 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 9.