Woman jailed for manslaughter after dropping newborn out of window, allegedly to save her career

LAUFFEN AM NECKAR, GERMANY- Katarina Jovanovic, a 28-year-old woman, has been sentenced to seven and a half years in prison for manslaughter after dropping her newborn daughter out of a window. The incident occurred on September 12, 2023, and the verdict was delivered on July 3, 2024 by the Heilbronn District Court.

Jovanovic, who worked as an executive in Porsche's legal department, gave birth in secret at her home. Shortly after the birth, she dropped her baby from her apartment window, a fall of nearly 12 feet, onto the hard tarmac below. The infant, only minutes old, suffered a shattered skull and was found by horrified passersby who immediately called the police.

During the trial, which began in April, Jovanovic admitted to dropping the baby but claimed she did not realize she was pregnant and could not explain the moment. Prosecutors, however, argued that she intentionally concealed her pregnancy because she feared that having a child would ruin her career.

Public prosecutor Mareike Hafendoerfer said, “The accused was not prepared to put her life plans, especially her professional advancement, on hold for a child. That was her decision when the baby was born, and as a result, the criteria for a murder conviction are fulfilled.”

Jovanovic’s defense team, led by attorney Malte Hoech, argued that the incident was an accident. They claimed that Jovanovic was in a state of shock and confusion after an unexpected birth and accidentally dropped the baby. Hoech emphasized that his client was in an exceptional psychological state at the time, having been unaware of her pregnancy.

The court ultimately accepted the defense's argument to some extent, reducing the charge from murder to manslaughter. Despite this, Jovanovic received a sentence of seven and a half years, which was more severe than the three years her defense had requested. Her legal team has announced plans to appeal the verdict.

Neighbors expressed shock and disbelief, stating that they had no idea Jovanovic was pregnant.

One neighbor mentioned that Jovanovic had become more withdrawn recently, which they attributed to work stress. “Nobody noticed that the woman was pregnant. Recently she had changed and was no longer talking to us.” The unidentified neighbor stated, adding, “We thought she was stressed at work.”
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