Wood County judge orders trials for parents in newborn death case

WISCONSIN RAPIDS, Wis. (WSAW) -- Wood County Judge Todd Wolf has rule there is enough evidence to hold a trial for two people charged following the death of a newborn boy.

Marylinn Feher, 22, is charged with first-degree intentional homicide and neglecting a child. The child's father, Allen Rice, 19, is charged with neglecting a child and obstructing an officer. Both pleaded not guilty to their charges Wednesday in court.

The baby was found in a bag in the back of Rice’s vehicle after Feher sought treatment for heavy bleeding.

Investigators said at no point during her hospital treatment did she admit to giving birth.

Tuesday in court, Investigator Sergeant Sara McCormick testified Feher did not disclose anything about child until it was found. The criminal complaint states the newborn died of blunt force cranial cerebral trauma and features of strangulation.

According to a news release, on April 6 at 10:11 a.m. Marshfield Medical Center reported a possible missing newborn. Wood County Sheriff Shawn Becker said an investigation began after a woman came to the hospital seeking medical help.

Investigators said Rice said Feher got a ride to the hospital from a friend because he was working. He also said he got a ride to the hospital from a coworker. According to court documents, Rice said he lied because he was afraid and claimed the baby was stillborn. He also said while he was carrying the baby to his Jeep after it was born in Milladore, he dropped it on the ground. He then said the baby was in his vehicle in the parking lot.

Officers located the child wrapped in a bath towel inside a tied plastic garbage bag in the rear cargo portion of a vehicle in the Marshfield Clinic parking lot. The child was rushed inside, revived, but later died of its injuries. Online court records state the boy lived 16 hours.

Court documents state Feher and Rice arrived at the hospital around 2 a.m. Rice said he stayed with the baby in the vehicle until 5 a.m., then went into the hospital without the baby. He then check on the newborn at 7:30 a.m. and went back into the hospital. Officers found the baby unattended in the vehicle at 10:30 a.m. The baby died at 4:16 p.m.

Court documents state Feher said she hit the newborn's head on the toilet several times and also strangled the baby in effort to suffocate him.
Sheriff Shawn Becker said the baby was named Zacharia by Feher.

Courts documents stated during the police interview on April 7, Feher only referred to the baby as 'it' or 'thing'.

Rice is in the Wood County Jail on $35,000 cash bond. Feher is in custody on $1 million cash bond.