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‘Last Chance’ For USC Student Jailed For Dumping Baby

Homeless man found dead infant in '05
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Holly Ashcraft looks on during her arraignment at the Criminal Courts Building November 9, 2005 in Los Angeles, California. The University of Southern California student pleaded not guilty to one count each of murder and child abuse for allegedly dumping her newborn in a trash bin. (Photo by Richard Hartog-Pool/Getty Images)

Holly Ashcraft looks on during her arraignment at the Criminal Courts Building November 9, 2005 in Los Angeles, California. The University of Southern California student pleaded not guilty to one count each of murder and child abuse for allegedly dumping her newborn in a trash bin. (Photo by Richard Hartog-Pool/Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES (CBS) — A judge on Monday warned a former USC student whose newborn son was found dead in a trash bin near the campus in 2005 that she could face time in state prison if she violates her probation again.

“This is your last chance with me,” Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Kathleen Kennedy told Holly Ashcraft after the 26-year-old woman admitted violating her probation by failing to comply with a requirement involving counseling.

Ashcraft, who pleaded no contest in May 2008 to child endangerment, spent just under three weeks in jail after being ordered into custody Dec. 15 by the judge.

Kennedy told the young woman that she hoped spending Christmas and New Year’s behind bars got through to the defendant in a way in which she had not succeeded.

“If there’s a further violation of probation…basically I’m done with you. I wash my hands of you,” the judge said.

Ashcraft was sentenced in June 2008 to five years probation and ordered to undergo monthly pregnancy tests during that time. Her baby’s body was found on Oct. 10, 2005, by a homeless man sifting through a trash bin behind a bar-restaurant near USC.

Prosecutors contended the baby was born alive and charged Ashcraft three times with murder for the baby’s death. The murder charge was dismissed all three times for lack of evidence.

Ashcraft, originally from Billings, Mont., was first investigated by police in April 2004 after going to a Los Angeles hospital, where doctors determined that she had given birth. That baby’s body was never found and she was never arrested or charged in connection with that infant.

Ashcraft, who was expected to be released from custody later today, is due back at the downtown Los Angeles courthouse for a progress report on April 7.

(©2010 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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