Indiana News

Mother Charged with Baby's Murder Seeks Release on Bond

4/5/2011

Bei Bei Shuai (IMPD photo)
Bei Bei Shuai (IMPD photo)
An Indianapolis woman charged with murdering her newborn baby as a result of her own suicide attempt wants to be released from jail on bond.

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Marion Superior Court Judge Sheila Carlisle must decide whether to set a bond for Bei Bei Shuai, 34, after her attorney argued Tuesday that her client is not a flight risk or danger to others.

Attorney Linda Pence also asked the judge to dismiss the murder and attempted charges against Shuai, claiming the charges are unwarranted and could prevent other mentally ill mothers from seeking treatment.  

But prosecutors argued that Shuai left a suicide note and intended to kill herself and her unborn child, which constitutes the murder charge.

Several medical experts, including the co-director of the Center for Law and Health at IU school of law in Indianapolis, are protesting the charges. David Orentlicher co-authored a brief in support of Shuai.

"She has a serious psychiatric problem, Orentlicher said. "Putting her in jail is not going to help it, and it's not going to help fetuses, generally, to have these kinds of policies."

Orentlicher maintains the case, if prosecuted, would keep other pregnant women with mental illness or substance abuse issues from seeking prenatal care.

"They're going to be afraid to go to see their doctor because they may end up in jail."

Carlisle has yet to rule on either issue.

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