Woman pleads guilty to assault in attack on pregnant woman
Friday, November 5, 2010; 11:01 PM
Teka Adams already had screamed at the woman who slashed open her abdomen and tried to take her unborn baby. She even turned to face Veronica Deramous in Prince George's County Circuit Court on Friday afternoon to tell her she wished Deramous would "rot forever" in prison.
But it wasn't until Deramous offered her defense - telling a judge that Adams had agreed to sell her the unborn child for $5,000 - that Adams became truly enraged. As Deramous talked of the clothes she had bought in anticipation of the baby girl's arrival, Adams stood and lunged in her direction, asking for proof.
"Where they at? Where they at?" Adams roared as her father tackled her and lay on top of her to keep her from going after Deramous."Fight me now!"
The outburst brought to a dramatic end a Prince George's County case that drew national media attention in December, when Adams escaped from Deramous's Suitland apartment with her abdomen cut and her child in desperate need of being delivered.
Before the screaming and the drama, Judge C. Philip Nichols Jr. accepted Deramous's guilty plea to first-degree assault and sentenced her to 25 years in prison. He also accepted a guilty plea to false imprisonment under the Alford doctrine - meaning that Deramous did not admit guilt to the charge but acknowledged the strength of the case against her - and gave her a life sentence with all but 15 years suspended.
The two sentences will run concurrently. All of it was arranged as part of a plea bargain before Deramous or Adams spoke.
At a news conference after the hearing, prosecutors said they think very little of Deramous's statement about arranging to buy the baby. State's Attorney Glenn F. Ivey said he would not "put a whole lot of credibility in what she was saying."
Assistant State's Attorney Scott Carrington, who prosecuted the case, said Deramous was lying from "the moment she opened her mouth."
Their theory of the case is this: Deramous met Adams at a District homeless shelter, lured her back to her Suitland apartment and bound her with duct tape for several days before trying to remove the unborn child with a box cutter. The attempt failed. Adams escaped Dec. 6, and her baby was delivered by emergency C-section. She named the baby Miracle.
Deramous was found the same day in Arlington County after phone conversations with police. She was eventually indicted on an attempted-murder charge.
Adams, flanked by her husband and other family members, said in court that she and her baby would have died if she had stayed in the house one more day. She addressed Deramous directly, asking her to look at Miracle.
"You see her? She beautiful," Adams said. "You could've took that from me."