Trial for mother accused of killing newborn set to begin Monday
ABILENE, Texas - A trial is scheduled on Monday for an Abilene mother who is accused of murdering her newborn. A jury of six men and six women will determine if Amber Craker is guilty of the murder of her newborn daughter and tampering with evidence. The 12 jurors along with one female alternate were selected Tuesday at the Taylor County Courthouse. Amber Craker, now 20, was 19 at the time she was accused of killing her newborn daughter, Ashley Cate, on January 18, 2016. Abilene police found the body of the deceased newborn inside Craker's home. She was arrested and charged with murder and tampering with evidence. According to the arrest report, Craker told police she "caused obvious injuries" to her newborn and then hid her body in a trash can. Her boyfriend, Damien Cate, was also arrested and charged with the same counts. In May, Craker was sent to a mental health facility in Vernon for 120 days after a judge ruled she was incompetent to stand trial. Then she was transferred back to the Taylor County Jail. In July, Craker was indicted on a capital murder charge, according to court documents released that month. The indictment stated that Craker's boyfriend, Damien Cate, also "knowingly caused the death" of the infant "by cutting her throat with a knife." The autopsy report showed the infant was stabbed multiple times over the neck and chest. Cate was released from jail on bail after his bond for capital murder was reduced from $150,000 to $100,000 on August 2. A trial date has not been set for Cate. Craker's murder trial is scheduled to begin October 2.