The Latest: Court questions attorney in feticide case appeal

AP News
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Posted: May 23, 2016 6:58 PM

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Latest on an Indiana woman's appeal of a feticide conviction in the death of her premature infant (all times local):

4 p.m.

An Indiana appeals court pointedly questioned an attorney for the state on whether there was evidence that a woman found guilty of neglect and feticide in a self-induced abortion knew she had delivered a live child.

Thirty-five-year-old Purvi Patel wants the three-judge panel to throw out the feticide and neglect convictions that resulted in her 20-year prison sentence. Her attorneys say the charges aren't supported by facts in her premature child's 2013 death.

Judge L. Mark Bailey asked deputy attorney general Ellen Meilaender during Monday's hearing whether evidence was presented at trial that Patel knew she had delivered a live, premature child that would need immediate medical care.

Meilaender replied no, saying Patel claimed the "baby was dead" when she delivered it in 2013 after ingesting abortion-inducing drugs she bought online.

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This update has been corrected to show that Judge L. Mark Bailey, not Judge Nancy Vaidik, asked whether evidence was presented at trial that Patel knew she had delivered a live child.

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2:30 p.m.

An Indiana appeals court is hearing arguments in the case of a woman found guilty of killing the premature infant she delivered after ingesting abortion-inducing drugs.

Attorneys for 35-year-old Purvi Patel are asking the court during Monday's hearing to throw out her feticide conviction and 20-year prison sentence.

Patel was arrested in July 2013 after delivering a baby boy of at least 25 weeks gestation and putting his body in a trash bin. Court records show Patel ingested abortion-inducing drugs purchased online.

At issue is Indiana's feticide statute, which the defense says was "passed to protect pregnant women from violence" that could harm their developing fetus, not to prosecute women for abortions. The state attorney general's office says the law "is not limited to third-party actors."

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8:30 a.m.

Attorneys for an Indiana woman found guilty of killing the premature infant she delivered after ingesting abortion-inducing drugs are asking an appeals court to throw out her convictions.

At issue in a Monday hearing is Indiana's feticide statute, which the defense says was "passed to protect pregnant women from violence" that could harm their developing fetus, not to prosecute women for abortions. The state says the law "is not limited to third-party actors."

The state's attorney general's office will defend the decision.

Thirty-five-year-old Purvi Patel was arrested in July 2013 after seeking medical treatment after delivering a baby boy of at least 25 weeks gestation and putting his body in a trash bin. Court records show Patel ingested abortion-inducing drugs purchased online.

She was sentenced to 20 years in prison.


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