Husband speaks out after wife accused of tossing baby from car in Cumberland County in 1999

Cumberland County News

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WNCN/WBTV CBS Newspath) — The husband of a woman accused of tossing her newborn baby out of a car nearly 21 years ago in Cumberland County is now speaking out.

​Charles O’Connor says he was home deputies knocked on the door and arrested his wife Deborah on a first-degree murder charge.

​​​He explained, “When he said first-degree murder, my heart dropped. My heart dropped.” ​​

Deputies said in March 1999, Deborah O’Connor stuffed her newborn baby boy in a trash bag and tossed him out of a car in Fayetteville.

When no one came forward, the case went cold.

​​”We always say you get hardened by the job you do, but any time it involved a child, elderly person, it really hits home,” Cumberland County Sheriff Ennis Wright said of the case.

​​Recent DNA testing helped link Deborah O’Connor to the crime, Wright said.

Charles O’Connor didn’t know his wife back then and says she never mentioned anything about it. ​​

“DNA don’t lie,” he said. “I would be stupid if I sat here and told you,’no, I don’t believe it’.”

​​When investigators arrested O’Connor in her Morganton home they say she admitted the baby was hers.

​​”We hope sometimes that you would make the right choice, but in this situation, the right choice wasn’t made,” said Wright.​​ 

Despite acknowledging the evidence, Charles O’Connor is choosing to stand by his wife.

​​”Debbie is not a murderer,” he said. “She is not a cold-blooded murderer.” ​​

Deborah O’Connor is in the Cumberland County Jail. If convicted, officials said she could face life in prison or the death penalty.

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