Mother accused of abandoning newborn in trash: "I was confused"

Briana Holland, 22 (photo courtesy IMPD)
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The woman police say gave birth to a baby at work, then left the child to die in a trash can, appeared in court Wednesday for the first time.

The judge entered a "not guilty" plea for Briana Holland. Her court appearance came a day after the baby's father asked for custody and ended up in jail himself.

The baby boy, who detectives call BBH for "Baby Boy Holland," is under the care of a medical team at Riley Hospital. His mother faces felony neglect and attempted murder charges.

Holland had to answer some tough questions about her newborn son found in a trash can.

The 22-year-old left her work station at Carrier on West Morris Street, according to court documents, and while in the restroom, she gave birth to a baby boy.

Later that night her coworkers found the baby in the trash can, still alive.

Holland's coworkers at Carrier told Police the baby had toilet paper wrapped tightly around his neck, a plastic tampon applicator in his mouth and a paper bag over his head.

The coworkers told police it was difficult to get the tampon applicator out of the infant's mouth. The baby's face was purple and his body was cold.

One of the employees said the baby was gasping for air and stopped breathing, but after thumping the baby on the chest, he started breathing again and crying. The employee wrapped the baby inside his own shirt. The umbilical cord was still attached to the baby, so the employee pinched it to stop the bleeding until it could be cut.

In court records, lead detective Derrick Harris asked Holland how it happened.

Holland replied, "Maybe something was in the trash can. I wasn't really paying attention.."

He asked, "What did you think would happen to the baby?"

"I know what the results would probably be. It would probably die," said Holland.

"Is that what you wanted to happen?"

"I mean, I was confused. I didn't know what I wanted to happen," said Holland.

"But you know the baby would die?" the detective asked.

She replied, "Mmm Hmm."

"You were cool with that?" the detective said.

"I'm never cool with anyone dying. I wasn't expecting it to live. I threw it in the can," said Holland.

"It is a criminal decision to put a child in a trash can when you decide that you don't want you don't want that child," said Kristina Korobov, Marion County Prosecutor's office.

Sources tell Eyewitness News deputies arrested the newborn's father, Elliott Oce, during a custody hearing Tuesday on an unrelated warrant.

Family attorney Chad Hill says the Department of Child Services is involved in determining who will get custody of the child.

"As far as custody of the baby, as far as the location and with whom the baby resides, I am unaware at this point," said Hill.

Holland, meantime, faces charges of attempted murder, several counts of neglect of a dependent, and battery resulting in serious injury on a child under 14 years old.

Read the probable cause here.

In court Wednesday, a judge entered a preliminary not guilty plea on the mother's behalf and ordered her to come back to court to face the neglect charges.