By Jennifer Richardson
EUGENE, Ore. — The woman accused of murdering her newborn and dumping his body in a dumpster took the stand to testify in her own defense.
Tuesday, Angelica Swartout was questioned under oath.
It was an emotional day for the defendant, her family and friends. A lot of tears were shed.
The judge changed her mind on allowing our cameras in the courtroom, but we can tell you as soon as Swartout sat down on the stand she looked directly at the jurors and told them, “I’m very scared. This is the only chance I have to tell the truth and if I’m not believed, I’ll spend the rest of my life in prison. I lied, lied to my family and friends.”
Swartout testified she lied about ever being pregnant.
She says she got caught up in the web of lies because she says when her family thought she was pregnant then she mattered and belonged.
When asked why she never came clean about the alleged lies even after police questioned her, she testified she felt trapped in the story and didn’t want to disappoint her family.
Then came the issue of the taped confession. When asked why she went from telling people she had a miscarriage to telling police she smothered her baby she said, “My mind wasn’t processing what was going on. Looking at it now I see what I did.I didn’t realize I was setting myself up for a murder charge. In jail I still didn’t know what was going on.”
She says the police already made it up in their minds what she did and she told them what they wanted to hear.
When asked about the changes to her body, she said she would stick out her stomach a lot and that she even did that for a couple of hours at her baby shower.
The defense had Swartout stand up and show jurors how she would stick her stomach out.
The defense also had her try on her work shirt she was wearing the night of the murder to show the amount of room there would of been for a big belly.