Father Pleads Guilty to Killing Newborn Daughter

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A father now admits he killed his newborn daughter soon after she was born and then hid her body behind his workplace in Wayne County.

Christopher Fitzpatrick, 21, of the Hamlin area pleaded guilty Thursday to first degree murder.

He admitted killing his newborn daughter Memorial Day weekend last year.

As part of the guilty plea he will spend life behind bars and must testify against the mother of his child, Jennifer Barrise.

"A number of people are ready to condemn Mr. Fitzpatrick as a monster. I have spent a great deal of time with him and should anyone else have that opportunity, he's a good kid caught in a horrible situation who made a tragic mistake," said defense attorney Scott Bennett.

Police said last Memorial Day weekend Jennifer Barisse gave birth to a baby girl.

The infant's father, Christopher Fitzpatrick, took the newborn to his workplace, a lawn care business near Hamilin, and killed the newborn,  hitting her with a cinder block.

He left the cinder block on the body and covered her with twigs.

Police said he killed the baby because he could not afford to keep her.

Fitzpatrick's guilty plea includes a mandatory sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole, as well as testify against Barisse.

"Essentially require Mr. Fitzpatrick to not only enter that plea, accept a mandatory sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole, but also provide cooperation with the district attorney's office with regard to the prosecution of his co-defendant Jennifer Barisse," Bennett added.

Barisse will also be tried for the death of her daughter.

According to court papers Barisse told police she knew Fitzpatrick was going to kill the child but did nothing to stop it.

Fitzpatrick's attorney said his client believes testifying against Barisse is the right thing to do.

"I think more importantly, Mr. Fitzpatrick feels a strong need to make sure justice is done in this matter," Bennett said.

The district attorney would not comment on the guilty plea because of the ongoing investigation involving Jennifer Barisse.

There is no word yet when her trial will be held.

Fitzpatrick will be formally sentenced in May.