Mom faces alleged womb attacker in courtroom

Pregnant Woman Cut
Veronica Deramous, 40, is accused of holding a pregnant woman hostage for several days and then using knives and box cutters to try to cut the baby out.AP file
/ Source: The Associated Press

A woman who survived an attempt to cut her unborn baby from her womb came face-to-face with her alleged attacker Tuesday in a Maryland courtroom. Teka Adams attended a preliminary hearing, where a judge found probable cause to proceed with attempted murder and other charges against Veronica Deramous.

Authorities say Deramous, 40, met the 29-year-old expecting mother at a homeless shelter and lured her to her Suitland apartment by promising to give her baby clothes.

Police say Deramous held Adams hostage for several days, finally using knives and box cutters to try to cut the baby out Dec. 5. Adams escaped the next day and delivered her baby, naming her Miracle Sky.

Adams brought her baby — dressed in a pink outfit with matching mittens, booties and a hat — to the courtroom. The mother did not testify but made eye contact when Deramous was brought in and looked shaken after seeing her.

'I can't make sense of it all'
Afterward, Adams' father, Gregory Burnette, told reporters that seeing Deramous in the courtroom was difficult for the whole family.

"Teka's my youngest daughter, so I felt she was trying to take my baby," he said, holding back tears. "It's unbelievable. I can't make sense of it all."

Burnette said his daughter often can't sleep at night because she is still reliving the attack.

"She's doing much better physically than emotionally," Burnette said.

The baby is doing very well, he said. She and her mother are living with him in Washington, he said.

"She kept me up all night last night," he said. "Baby Miracle is truly a miracle."

The baby's father is also in the picture and was in court Tuesday with the family.

$5,000 payment?
Tuesday's hearing lasted less than half an hour. Detective Kevron Gottlieb testified that Deramous was arrested in Arlington, Va. after she called police and told them her location.

He also testified that Deramous told police that she had paid Adams $5,000 for the baby, a claim that prosecutors declined to comment on.

Public defender Kim Robinson argued that the attempted first-degree murder charge would not hold up because there was no evidence Deramous intended to kill Adams. Prince George's County District Judge Thurman H. Rhodes disagreed and found sufficient probable cause for all the charges.

Prosecutors now have another 30 days until they must indict Deramous.

Prince George's County State's Attorney Glenn Ivey said his office still has loose ends to wrap up in the investigation. One question yet to be determined is whether prosecutors will bring charges against Deramous' son, Derek Scott Quinn, who told police he helped his mother bind Adams' hands.

Burnette thanked the public for the donations that have poured in for the baby through the county social services agency. He said the baby has enough clothes for the first two years but Adams could still use monetary support to buy supplies.

"Just the cards and letters have really meant a lot to her," he said. "She's read every one of them."