An incarcerated pregnant Florida woman’s attorney is fighting for her release after declaring his client’s fetus is being “held unlawfully.” Natalia Harrell is a suspect in custody for murder after a fatal shooting occurred in an Uber.
On July 23, 2022, Harrell was traveling with friends via the popular ride-sharing service when an argument in the group began. The interaction was caught on the driver’s car security footage. As the spat intensified, Harrell allegedly pulled out a gun and killed Gladys Yvette Borcela. On July 26, the expectant mother was placed at Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center, where she has remained since the crime. Her lawyer, William M. Norris, is asking that officials let his client go because the child she’s carrying “has not been charged with a criminal offense,” according to Fox News on Wednesday (Feb. 22).
Last week, Norris began taking legal action to get the plan in motion by filing a habeas corpus. At the time those documents were filed, Harrell was eight months pregnant. Norris further added that the Florida woman has not properly seen a physician since October, and neither his client nor her unborn child has access to nutritious food — highlighting the prison’s healthcare system. As for her living conditions, the attorney referred to it as “a cell block or pod where violent criminals are housed.” He also said other inmates are “housed in the pod because they have been disciplined or under investigation for fighting or committing crimes or violation of the prison rules.”
“Absent immediate release of UNBORN CHILD from the Respondents, UNBORN CHILD will be likely brought into this world on the concrete floor of the prison cell, without the aid of qualified medical physicians and paramedics, and in the presence of violent criminals,” the habeas corpus read. Marc Shiner, another Florida lawyer, gave his insight on the case, telling Fox News: “We do recognize, in many situations, unborn fetuses as a victim. So, if they’re a victim for criminal purposes, why are they not a criminal for penalty purposes, for penal purposes, when locking up the mother who’s not even found guilty? She’s presumed innocent.”
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