Mother charged in rebirthing death

The Associated Press / September 6, 2000

GOLDEN, Colo. (AP) -- A woman whose 10-year-old adopted daughter stopped breathing while she was wrapped in a sheet meant to represent the womb will be bound over for trial, her attorney said.

Jeane Newmaker, 46, of Durham, N.C., is charged with negligent child abuse resulting in death. Newmaker, who waived her preliminary hearing Tuesday, faces up to six years in prison if convicted.

Candace Newmaker died April 19, one day after undergoing rebirthing therapy in which she was curled in a fetal position and wrapped in the flannel sheet.

With pillows pushed against her, she was urged to fight her way out to be ``reborn,'' authorities said. The hope was that she would bond with Newmaker, who was present for part of the videotaped session.

Prosecutors argue the girl told therapists she was having trouble breathing or felt like she was going to die.

Defense lawyers say parts of the video are inaudible and it is not always clear who is talking.

Four workers at the clinic where the therapy was performed are awaiting trial on more serious child abuse charges.

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