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Ex-church pianist denies killing baby

CARROLLTON (AP) — A former church pianist who faces the death penalty if convicted in the death of her newborn baby told officers she got pregnant while having an extramarital affair and "just wanted it to all go away," but denied killing it.

Instead of killing the child, Bridget Lee told investigators the baby was stillborn and she panicked, hiding the body in a plastic container and placing it in a car.

Lee's statements to police were made public Wednesday during a hearing in the capital murder case against her. Jailed since her arrest in November, Lee is accused of smothering the child in an effort to keep the birth secret.

Evidence showed Lee delivered the baby boy on Nov. 6, placed him in garbage bags and then inside a plastic container and put it in her car, where it remained until Nov. 11, when authorities acting on a tip found it.

Keith Cox, an investigator with McCool's office, and Alabama Bureau of Investigation agent Ray Lewis questioned Lee, who played piano at a Baptist church in Aliceville and worked at a bank.

Lee first said she had an affair, got pregnant and delivered a stillborn baby, Cox said. In a second interrogation after her arrest, Lee told investigators the baby's arm and mouth had moved after he was born.

An autopsy report said the baby had air in his lungs, indicating he was alive and breathing. Lewis testified that the pathologist said the baby's forehead and nose showed signs of flattening as if he had been pressed against something.

In a written statement to investigators, Lee said she considered ending the pregnancy.

"I went to an abortion clinic but I was too far along," Lee said. "They wouldn't perform it. Then I began to panic. I did not want to lose my husband or my children."

Lee didn't want anyone to know about her pregnancy and wanted to put the baby up for adoption.

"I just wanted to go back in time and take the affair back because whether or not my marriage was on the rocks, I still shouldn't have had an affair," she said. "It was wrong."

Lee told officers she never got any prenatal care.

"I guess because I just wanted it to all go away," she said. "I just wanted God to forgive me for what I had done and go back to the life I had with my husband and my two beautiful children when I was happy."

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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