DOUGLAS COUNTY, Colo. — A Highlands Ranch woman was sentenced to several decades in prison for killing her newborn in September 2020.
On Thursday, Douglas County Judge Patricia D. Herron sentenced Peyton M. Green, 22, to 40 years in the Department of Corrections.
The charges stem from Sept. 26, 2020, when Green, who was experiencing vaginal bleeding, arrived at the UCHealth Highlands Ranch emergency room. She consented to a sexual assault examination, and based on what they found from that examination, bloodwork and an ultrasound, medical staff believed she had given birth, according to the 18th Judicial District Attorney's Office.
However, Green, who was 20 at the time, said she had never had intercourse or given birth.
The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office was asked to investigate and they went to her home. Her father, who was home, gave permission for them to search for a baby.
During this search, deputies found a deceased baby inside a tan grocery store bag under a towel in the bathroom sink cabinets, according to the district attorney's office.
With further investigation, deputies learned that Green's ex-boyfriend lived in Colorado Springs, and he confirmed they had had intercourse. Investigators also found text messages from Green's phone, where she told the man and a friend that she was pregnant. Green’s parents told investigators they did not know she was pregnant.
On the day deputies found the newborn, her father told them Green has attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and executive function disorder, according to an arrest affidavit. Green’s mother told investigators Green “never takes ownership or accountability for anything” and they never know if Green is telling them the truth or not.
An autopsy report determined the baby was near full term and was born alive. The cause of death was undetermined, according to an arrest affidavit.
Green was arrested in Wyoming on Sept. 30, 2021 and brought to the Douglas County Detention Facility on charges of first-degree murder, tampering with a deceased human body and attempt to influence a public servant.
Green pleaded guilty on Nov. 16, 2023 to child abuse - knowingly and recklessly causing death, which is a Class 2 felony.
“This defendant attempted to conceal a murder by lying to her parents, law enforcement, and medical staff,” said Chief Deputy District Attorney Chris Gallo. “In the end, the evidence is indisputable."
District Attorney John Kellner said this tragedy could have been avoided if Green had called for help after giving birth.
“There were multiple ways to handle an unwanted or unexpected pregnancy, but her selfish and deceitful actions to hide a birth by dumping her newborn’s body in a bag like a piece of trash certainly warrants a lengthy prison sentence," he said.