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US: Indian mother who threw baby in river set free

August 04, 2010 01:55 IST

An Indian mother who threw her baby in the Hudson River in New York to take revenge on her husband has been freed on $10,000 bail and will be living with her spouse as her attempted murder case continues.

Devi Silvia and Dominic James Prithiviraj strolled out of court arm in arm after she was released from a locked psych ward by a Manhattan judge so that she can attend a psychiatric day program, The New York Post reported.

Devi, 33, pleaded not guilty to attempted murder charges and had asked Justice Lewis Bart Stone to release her in her husbands care until she faced trial. Initially, the woman claimed that she acted to get back at her husband but now the accused insists that she was hearing voices, which the prosecutors insist is a fabricated story.

She has been freed on $10,000 bail and will be living with her spouse in Manhattan as her attempted murder case continues. Meanwhile Judge Stone is trying to figure out whether Silvia is a criminal or a patient in need of psychiatric help.

"What she did was obviously an extremely disturbing matter," said Justice Stone, said last week. "But at the end of the day. I don't know if there would be a conviction or if the sentence would be on the high end, given her history," the judge said.

Ultimately, he said, it remains to be seen, "whether this is truly a case for criminal punishment or medical treatment," he added. Silvia is an Indian national who a master's degree in Mathematics and taught high-school students in Tamil Nadu.

She and her husband J Prithiviraj recently arrived from India and have lived in New York, California and Illinois. Prithiviraj works for Oracle Corp, a California based software company, and they have two children.

The troubled mother had reportedly told her husband that she wanted to return with the children to India but had been advised to wait.

The baby, Jessica Prithiviraj, survived her toss in the river in May but contracted hypothermia and was blue when recovered from the river. Prosecutors say the baby could have died, if she had not been saved in time.

 "She (Devi) said she was sad and lonely and angry at her husband and that she did this horrific act on purpose," Assistant District Attorney Robert Hettleman said, at the time in May.

 "She made clear that she threw her baby in to the freezing river in order to get back at her husband," he added. The two children, Jessica, and her six-year-old sister, have moved back to India to live with their relatives.

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