Murder-1 charge dropped for teen

A teenage mother who allegedly drowned her newborn in a toilet and threw his body into the garbage in December 2008 won't face a first-degree murder charge.

Lauryn Last, 17, now faces one count of second-degree murder in her trial set to begin June 7.

Second-degree murder is a Class A felony, punishable by up to life in prison and a $50,000 fine.

Last was released to relatives pending trial.

On March 4, Clallam County deputy prosecutor John Troberg filed to dismiss the first-degree murder charge "without prejudice," meaning it could be refiled later.

Defense attorney John Hayden countered that the charge should be dismissed so that it can't be refiled later but Jefferson County Superior Court Judge Craddock Verser disagreed.

Troberg said after the case was assigned to him, he consulted with forensic experts and investigating officers.

Then he decided to drop the first-degree premeditated murder charge, which required proving Last had a premeditated intent to cause the death of her son.

"I decided the appropriate charge that most accurately fits the facts when we got to trial was second-degree felony murder," Troberg said.

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