Family Says Postpartum Issue Dismissed By Kutmus — (KCCI Des Moines)

SSRI Ed note: Woman taking medication for postpartum depression frowns her infant son. Lawyer does not know enough to blame PPD, let alone the antidepressant.

Original article no longer available

KCCI Des Moines

Husband Says Anfinson Took Medication For Condition

POSTED: 4:13 pm CDT August 3, 2005  UPDATED: 5:47 pm CDT August 3, 2005

DES MOINES, Iowa — Tears and intense questioning marked the second day of a hearing to determine whether a Des Moines woman who was convicted of killing her infant son should receive a new trial.

Five years ago, a jury convicted Heidi Anfinson of second-degree murder in the death of 2-week-old Jacob.

William Kutmus, Anfinson’s lawyer at the time, said Jacob accidentally drowned in an infant bathtub.

Alfredo Parrish and Maggi Moss are now representing Anfinson. Anfinson’s attorneys claim that Kutmus ignored evidence that she may have suffered from postpartum depression.

The hearing’s second day began with Kutmus’ testimony. He was cross-examined by Assistant County Attorney Mike Hunter, who asked Kutmus about his relationship with Anfinson and how frequently they spoke and about a postpartum depression defense.

Kutmus said they had a good relationship and said he told Anfinson about three different plea deals she could have taken in the trials, but she refused them.

Kutmus said he asked Anfinson about her feelings toward her child and at every stage. He said she was adamant about how much she loved Jacob.

“This was an accident, she’s always maintained that,” he said.

Kutmus was also questioned again by Anfinson’s attorneys.

Kutmus said his client always considered her son’s death an accident and that is why he chose accidental death as her defense, NewsChannel 8 reported.

Hunter asked Kutmus if the accidental death defense was a reasonable strategy. Kutmus said “absolutely” and that he still believed it to this day.

Parrish asked Kutmus why he did not consider postpartum depression considering the unusual nature of the baby’s death.

Anfinson’s father, who paid $100,000 for her defense, said on the stand that the family had repeatedly suggested that Kutmus try the postpartum defense, but they said they were always dismissed.

Irv Hoffbauer, Anfinson’s father, said that he remembered getting the impression from Kutmus that he didn’t know what postpartum depression was or was too lazy to find out.

Late Wednesday, Anfinson’s husband, Mike Anfinson, took the stand. He said his wife was suffering from postpartum depression and had even taken medication, but Kutmus never asked whether his client was taking any medication.

Kutmus said that’s just not something he asks his clients.