For Immediate Release 3/30/2017
Northwestern Baltimore - On Wednesday, Anne Kirsch was convicted of manslaughter and child abuse resulting in death after a week-long bench trial before Judge Cynthia Jones of the Circuit Court for Baltimore City. Special Victims Unit Chief, Anne Colt Leitess, prosecuted the case.
Kirsch gave birth to the victim— Matthew Kirsch Jr.— on October 11, 2015 in the repair bay of an auto repair shop where she worked. Mrs. Kirsch admitted using heroin during the early stages of her pregnancy, as well as the night before Matthew, Jr. died. Paramedics were called to a Groveland Avenue address on October 20—nine days after the child’s birth. They found the child unresponsive and transferred him to Sinai Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at approximately 10:30 a.m. Baltimore Police Homicide Division investigated the child’s death.
Authorities said the child was likely born with a heroin addiction and suffered severe withdrawal symptoms and physical pain. The child never received medical attention, and the medical examiner determined that the victim had only been fed sporadically during the short time he was alive. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner ruled that the child’s death was a homicide caused by both abuse and neglect. An autopsy revealed the child had suffered from blunt force trauma—consistent with the victim’s head slamming against a flat surface—which caused a traumatic brain injury. Examiners also found that Matthew’s s stomach content was empty except for gastric fluid, with no indication of nutrition in the digestive track.
“As mother of two young children, I’m saddened whenever an innocent child dies at the hands of its mother. However, this case is especially disheartening because this child in particular was abused, neglected and never given the opportunity to live by the one person that gave it life,” State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby said. “Our office will always pursue justice on behalf of our most vulnerable victims and yesterday’s conviction is a testament to that pursuit.”
Anne Kirsch faces more than 50 years in prison for her crimes. She is scheduled for sentencing June 2, 2017.