SOUTH BEND, Ind. - A northern Indiana judge allowed a feticide charge to stand Tuesday against a woman who is also charged with neglect in the death of a newborn whose body was found in a restaurant trash bin.
St. Joseph Superior Court Judge Elizabeth Hurley ruled the charge can stand against 33-year-old Purvi Patel of Granger.
The infant's body was found outside a Mishawaka restaurant in July 2013 after Patel went to a hospital, police have said. Court documents say Patel told doctors the baby was stillborn, but a forensic pathologist ruled the infant was born alive and took a breath. Documents also allege Patel took drugs ordered from Hong Kong to try to abort the pregnancy.
Patel has pleaded not guilty to the neglect charge.
Defense attorney Jeff Sanford had asked Hurley to strike the feticide charge that prosecutors added last week, saying he didn't have time to prepare a defense before Patel's scheduled Sept. 29 trial.
"They are different medical issues," Sanford said.
However, Hurley is allowing Sanford more time to prepare his defense, and the trial date likely will be vacated during a hearing Friday, the South Bend Tribune reported.
Chief Deputy Prosecutor Mark Roule said the state has made it clear since October it intended to file a feticide charge if the case went to trial. He said the two charges stemmed from the same set of facts and spurred no new discovery specifically related to feticide.
Indiana law defines feticide as knowingly or intentionally terminating a human pregnancy with an intention other than to produce a live birth or to remove a dead fetus.
Feticide carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. Neglect carries a maximum sentence of 50 years.
One-pawed cat found frozen ready for new home
An Indianapolis cat found frozen to a water meter has overcome physical and social adversities and is ready to find a special forever home.
Bloomington teen braves cold for good cause
Despite the below-average temperatures, a Bloomington teenager is braving the elements for a good cause.
6 face fed. charges in case of abducted teens
Federal charges were filed Wednesday against six people suspected in the abduction of two Indianapolis teens earlier this week.
Hesburgh remembered for his acts of kindness
The Rev. Theodore Hesburgh, who transformed the University of Notre Dame into an academic power during his more than three decades as…
Man shot in Wal-Mart parking lot on west side
A man told police he was shot in the parking lot of a Wal-Mart on the city's west side Wednesday evening.
Items seized in drug raid donated to high school
Police decided to donate multiple items seized during a drug raid to help educate students at a local high school.