Woodside Mom Guilty Of Manslaughter
The Woodside woman who threw her newborn baby in a trash can at Elmhurst Hospital Center last May faces a decade behind bars after pleading guilty on Monday, Mar. 26, to a manslaughter charge resulting from the child’s death, law enforcement sources said.
Dawa Lama, 24, of 65th Street entered a guilty plea to first-degree manslaughter during a hearing in Queens Criminal Court before Judge Lenora Gerald. Sentencing is scheduled to take place on Apr. 16; Gerald indicated that she would order Lama to serve 10 years in prison.
“Today’s guilty plea is a just and fair disposition to a sad case involving a very troubled young woman,” Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown said in a statement issued on Monday. “[Lama] has been held accountable for what was a serious but avoidable crime. New York State’s Safe Haven law allows a parent to anonymously surrender their unwanted newborn infant to personnel in a safe place-such as a hospital, a police station or a fire station-and not have to worry about getting in trouble.”
Law enforcement sources said that Lama admitted to visiting Elmhurst Hospital Center on May 10, 2011 to register for prenatal care. After signing in at the front desk, it was reported, she experienced back and abdominal pain and went to a restroom.
While inside the restroom, police said that Lama went into labor and gave birth to a girl, later named Mingmar Gurung; Brown noted that the child was born full-term with no obvious signs of deformities.
According to the charges, Lama severed the umbilical cord, then dumped the infant into a trash can and left the restroom. After retrieving her identification from the front desk, she reportedly fled from the hospital.
Staff members at the medical center later discovered the newborn and contacted the 110th Precinct. After receiving preliminary care at Elmhurst Hospital, Gurung was brought to Long Island Jewish Medical Center. She was placed on life support and died a week later.
Lama was apprehended on May 10, 2011 by members of the 110th Precinct Detective Squad. She remains in custody on $250,000 bail.
The case was prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Attorney Dianna L. Megias of the D.A.’s Special Victims Bureau, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorneys Marjory D. Fisher, bureau chief, and Kenneth M. Appelbaum and Lucinda C. Suarez, deputy bureau chief.