Trial of woman accused of neglect of a dependent and feticide enters second day
Aborted baby was over 25-weeks oldBy Dave Andrusko
Back in May, NRL News Today reported that St. Joseph Superior Court Judge Elizabeth Hurley had just granted Purvi Patel a fourth continuance, meaning the trial of the woman accused of taking abortifacients to induce an abortion and then dumping the body of her (at least) 25-week-old baby in a dumpster behind her family’s restaurant, was delayed yet again.
Yesterday, the trial began in St. Joseph County, Indiana, for Patel who stands accused of neglect of a dependent and feticide. All accounts suggested that the keys will be a series of texts Patel sent to a friend and the testimony of physicians at the ER where Patel arrived the night of July 13, 2013, bleeding, with an umbilical cord hanging from her body.
“The evidence in this case is irrefutable that some pretty terrible things happened July 13 and 14 of 2013,” Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Aimee Herring said in opening statements. “A mother lost her child. What could be more terrible than that? Well the evidence will show that the loss of that child in this particular case was not due to any natural cause. In fact, the loss of that child’s life was the direct result of that mother, Purvi Patel’s actions.”
In her story, Kelli Stopczynski, of WSBT television, added, “Herring went on to say Patel sought care for herself when she needed help, ‘while her baby lay dying.’”
Defense attorney Jeff Sanford said the defense’s own pathologist arrived at a different conclusion than the state’s forensic pathologist who ruled the infant was born alive after about 25 weeks in the womb, and could have survived if given proper care. Sanford asked the jury to review the facts.
“There are pictures that are going to upset you,” Sanford told the jury. “They have nothing to do with the evidence.”
The chronology is a lengthy one and it begins, according to the prosecution, in April 2013 with a series of texts Patel sent to a friend.
According to Herring, Patel began texting her friend about an irregular menstrual cycle and cramping. Patel did not take her friend’s advice to see a doctor. The texts continued, according to Stopczynski’s story into June when Patel took a pregnancy test.
Stopczynski then reported
On June 10, Patel text messaged her friend about ordering abortion pills from an “international pharmacy,” and when the friend asked Patel three more times to see a doctor, she replied, “I’d rather not even go to a doc. I just want to get this over with,” Herring said.
According to text messages, the pills arrived at Moe’s Southwest Grill in Mishawaka – a restaurant Patel’s family owns – in early July. But Patel waited to take those pills until July 10, continuing to provide a detailed account of her situation to her friend, Herring told the jury.
“BTW, these pills taste like sh**. If these pills don’t work…I’m gonna be mad,” the text messages allegedly said.
Then on July 13, Patel text messaged her friend, “Just lost the baby. I’m gonna clean up the bathroom and then go to Moe’s.”
That’s where investigators have said they ultimately found the baby, in a dumpster, wrapped in plastic bags.
*Jurors saw pictures of baby outside the dumpster where police found it. Purvi Patel appeared to cry
*Baby was lying on its side, where a doc placed it after it was found. Had full head of hair, arms, legs, ears and nose. Jurors appeared stoic
*Defense attny tried to get pictures removed from evidence before trial, arguing they weren’t necessary and would evoke emotion
*Crime tech testified about “red stained” evidence (underwear, pants, towel) collected from Patel’s home & sent to crime lab