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Invisibleveggie

Registered: 07/26/04
Posts: 13,985
Three Mothers Charged With Giving Babies Meth [OR]
    #3745455 - 02/07/05 03:01 PM (12 years, 10 months ago)

Three Mothers Charged With Giving Babies Meth
February 7, 2005
koin.com

BEND, Ore. -- Three Bend women are facing charges that they forced their babies to ingest methamphetamine -- one by breastfeeding and two through umbilical cords.

All three women face the possibility of decades in prison and hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines.

Authorities say 38-year-old Patricia Burgess and 28-year-old Mary Cervantes are charged with causing another person to ingest methamphetamine while pregnant. The charges against 30-year-old Kristy Davis of Bend are based on breastfeeding.

Similar cases in other states have raised legal questions about holding drug-addicted mothers accountable.

Bend prosecutor Victoria Rose says the facts of the cases against the three women fit within criminal law.


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InvisibleRandalFlagg
Stranger
Registered: 06/15/02
Posts: 15,608
Re: Three Mothers Charged With Giving Babies Meth [Re: veggie]
    #3745480 - 02/07/05 03:05 PM (12 years, 10 months ago)

I fed my two children meth all of the time and they ended up just fine until foster care took them away. Look at what meth has done to my compexion...it has given it a nice healthy glow!


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Offlinephi1618
old hand

Registered: 02/14/04
Posts: 4,102
Last seen: 7 years, 7 months
Re: Three Mothers Charged With Giving Babies Meth [Re: veggie]
    #3747340 - 02/07/05 09:32 PM (12 years, 10 months ago)

So, if a woman drinks while pregnant (or breast feeding) she's guilty of providing alcohol to a minor?


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Invisibleveggie

Registered: 07/26/04
Posts: 13,985
Re: Three Mothers Charged With Giving Babies Meth [Re: phi1618]
    #3749735 - 02/08/05 04:50 AM (12 years, 10 months ago)

Quote:

So, if a woman drinks while pregnant (or breast feeding) she's guilty of providing alcohol to a minor?




I think your statement may have been said somewhat "tongue in cheek" or facetiously. But, I feel it may have a lot of truth in it.

Considering the current trend in the USA of hurriedly passing laws resticting personal freedom, combined with the pendulum swinging back to the view that a fetus is an unborn human as opposed to just medical tissue, I think it is quite probable that women who abuse their fetus by using tobacco, alcohol, prescription, or recreational drugs during pregnacy will become subject to criminal charges.

Carrying that one step further, considering our litigious society, I see a time where people suffering various diminished physical and mental capacity, depression, ADD, etc. suing their mothers for how they were treated in the womb.


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Invisibleveggie

Registered: 07/26/04
Posts: 13,985
Re: Three Mothers Charged With Giving Babies Meth [Re: veggie]
    #3953140 - 03/22/05 01:20 PM (12 years, 8 months ago)

Mom pleads guilty to feeding baby meth-laced breast milk
March 22, 2005
bendbulletin.com

A Redmond mother pleaded guilty on Monday in Deschutes County Circuit Court to causing her 3-month-old baby to ingest methamphetamine through her breast milk.

Kristy Meialoha Davis, 30, admitted to Judge Stephen N. Tiktin that she had breast-fed her baby between June 2004 and December 2004, causing the infant to ingest the drug.

Davis faces a sentence of 16 months to 18 months in prison for the offense, but may be eligible for three years of probation under the Oregon sentencing guidelines.

Judge Tiktin advised Davis that even if the Deschutes County District Attorney's office recommends probation, a sentence of probation is optional.

According to the terms of the plea agreement, six additional charges against Davis will be dismissed and she will be required to submit to a drug evaluation and follow any treatment recommendations.

Davis will be subject to "open sentencing" under the plea agreement, which allows attorneys to argue for the sentence each side finds most appropriate.

Defense attorney Angela Lee said that Davis' baby is happy and healthy and the child's welfare is her client's primary concern.

"She took immediate responsibility for this and she wants to do what is best for her daughter," Lee said. "She loves her daughter and she's going to do whatever it takes to make this right."

Lee declined to say who currently has custody of the child.

Deputy District Attorney Victoria Roe could not be reached for comment.

Davis is scheduled for sentencing in Deschutes County Circuit Court on April 11.


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Invisibleveggie

Registered: 07/26/04
Posts: 13,985
Loc: Flag
Re: Three Mothers Charged With Giving Babies Meth [Re: veggie]
    #4611433 - 09/02/05 04:15 AM (12 years, 3 months ago)

Judge: State cannot try Bend mom
September 2, 2005 - bendbulletin.com

In the first ruling of its kind in the state of Oregon, a Deschutes County Circuit Court judge decided Thursday that the state cannot prosecute a pregnant woman for delivering drugs to her baby via her umbilical cord.

"While this court believes the use of methamphetamine by a pregnant woman is a moral outrage against one's child, this court concludes nevertheless that it is not a crime under Oregon law," Judge Stephen Tiktin said when issuing his ruling.

An indictment was filed against 19-year-old Mary Lou Cervantes last year, after her baby tested positive for high levels of methamphetamine, according to the testimony of a Bend police detective.

Because health care providers are mandatory reporters of suspected child abuse, hospital workers contacted the state Department of Human Services when the baby was born in September 2004, and employees from that agency, in turn, contacted police.

Cervantes was charged with causing a person to ingest a controlled substance, applying a controlled substance to a minor and recklessly endangering another.

Cervantes' attorney, Karla Nash, asked the court to dismiss the case, arguing that her client had not committed a crime as defined by Oregon law. She said the language of Oregon statutes does not sufficiently inform pregnant women who ingest controlled substances that they can be prosecuted if their babies test positive for drugs after birth.

Tiktin agreed and dismissed the charges. In a written opinion, he stated that the statutes used to prosecute Cervantes do not make it illegal for a pregnant woman to take drugs.

"In fact," Tiktin wrote, "there is no Oregon statute which makes it unlawful for one to use methamphetamine." It is illegal to possess, deliver or sell controlled substances in Oregon.

Deschutes County Deputy District Attorney Victoria Roe had argued that the Oregon Legislature clearly intended to protect children from exposure to drugs when passing laws against delivering controlled substances to minors.

Nash countered that any drugs in Cervantes' system were taken before the child was born, constituting prenatal exposure.

Oregon law does not provide protection for a fetus in criminal cases, so an unborn child cannot be the victim of a crime.

Roe argued that Cervantes delivered meth to her baby in the moments after birth, but before the umbilical cord was cut when the newborn was legally a person. She said this transfer constituted the crime of delivering drugs to a minor.

Tiktin said Thursday that Roe's assertion was not consistent with state law.

"In each count, the defendant's only act is the ingestion of methamphetamine before the child was born and came into existence as a person," he said. "Only after birth can the substance be introduced through the involuntary bodily processes of the mother."

Tiktin's written opinion cited an Oregon Court of Appeals decision that "once a drug enters one's body, control over that drug is lost."

Oregon law requires a person take an illegal action to commit a crime, he said, and Cervantes' only act was taking drugs while pregnant, before the fetus was born.

Cervantes still faces one charge of possession of a controlled substance in an unrelated incident.

Deschutes County District Attorney Mike Dugan said he did not agree with Thursday's ruling and his office would likely appeal the decision.

"We have an absolute obligation to protect children in this state," Dugan said. "Once that baby is born alive and there is meth in the system, our laws should be designed to protect that baby from the second it takes its first breath."

He said Roe would confer with the Oregon Attorney General's office about preparing Cervantes' case for appeal.

Dugan said his office would continue to file charges against women who take drugs while pregnant and after birth, if they breast feed and transfer drugs to their children.

Two women have pleaded guilty in Deschutes County for delivering meth to their babies through breast milk, but Cervantes is the first woman charged for delivering the substance via the umbilical cord.

Tiktin wrote that his decision to dismiss the charges against her was consistent with state court rulings across the country.

"There is no other jurisdiction in the United States in which this issue has been ruled upon, whether state or federal, in which a pregnant woman can be prosecuted for delivering illegal drugs to her child by consuming those drugs while pregnant," his opinion said.

But that won't stop the district attorney from prosecuting pregnant drug users.

"This is just one judge making a ruling on what he believes the law of the state of Oregon is," Dugan said. "But his ruling is not binding on any other judge."

Dugan said his office will not dismiss charges against a Sisters woman, filed in June, for delivering drugs to her baby through the umbilical cord.

According to court documents, 20-year-old Amanda Mae Kessel has been charged with causing a person to ingest a controlled substance, applying a controlled substance to a minor and recklessly endangering another. She is scheduled to enter a plea on Sept. 19.


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