Charge reduced in death of Livingston newborn

LIVINGSTON—The second degree murder charge against Tara J. Tomlin, 21, of Livingston has been dropped and a new charge of first degree manslaughter has been filed.

State Police at the request of and after consultation with Columbia County District Attorney Paul Czajka filed a complaint in Livingston Town Court to charge Ms. Tomlin with manslaughter, August 18.

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Tara Tomlin (l) appeared in Livingston Court with her attorney, Michael Howard (c), August 18. DA Czajka is on the right. Photo by Lance Wheeler

Ms. Tomlin is represented by First Assistant Public Defender Michael C. Howard.

DA Czajka told The Columbia Paper this week that the manslaughter charge involves the intentional killing of another person under extreme emotional circumstances.

While on duty as a clerk at the Bells Pond Xtra Mart convenience store, Ms. Tomlin gave birth to a living 7½ pound baby boy in the store restroom in the early morning hours of November 27, 2015. She then allegedly put the child in a garbage bag and deposited the bag in a dumpster behind the store. The child died of homicide by asphyxiation, according to a pathologist’s report.

She was found competent to stand trial December 14, 2015.

She has been in the Columbia County Jail without bail since her arrest November 28, 2015.

Mr. Czajka said he has submitted Superior Court filings and expects a date for arraignment in county court on the new charge soon.

The murder charge carried with it a sentence of 15 to 25 to life in prison and if convicted on the manslaughter charge, Ms. Tomlin could face from 5 to 15 years incarceration, said Mr. Czajka.

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