Staff Reports - INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) -- Alabama parents who were visiting Indianapolis and accused of taking their baby to a downtown bar were found not guilty by a jury, online court records and the defense attorneys said.
Michael Trosclair, 46, and Shari Treba, 42, were cleared of charges of felony neglect of a dependent charges and misdemeanor public intoxication.
"After 263 days of silence and public shame, we are grateful for the verdict of 'not guilty.' This verdict contributes to our continued healing from the loss and emotional pain caused by this incident. We now look forward to expressing the true story of who we are and what happened," Trosclair and Tremba said in a statement from their attorney, Marc Lopez.
According to court documents, officers from the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department were called around 12:30 a.m. June 16 to Wild Beaver Saloon, 20 E. Maryland St., on a report that a woman was breastfeeding an infant while drinking alcohol and soliciting customers for beer. Officers said they found Treba standing near a sleeping baby in a stroller outside the roped-in area of the bar and she was drinking what appeared to be beer.
A witness who had contacted authorities regarding the woman said Treba had been at the bar since around 10:30 p.m., offering sex to people in exchange for beer and drinking the beer while breastfeeding her infant.
"At trial, witness testimony contradicted the contents of the 911 call; the only thing that any person saw Shari do was consume one 10-ounce beer," the attorney's statement said. "The person who gave her this ten-ounce beer testified that he did so about ten minutes before the police arrived and at that time Shari Tremba was not intoxicated."
Trosclair and Treba were in the city for a financial industry convention. According to their attorney's statement, Treba was at the bar with two other adult caretakers who had been charged with taking care of the child while the parents were involved in the convention.
Additional witnesses told officers Treba had chained the baby stroller outside the bar, abandoning it to go inside and buy a drink. Court documents showed Treba's blood-alcohol content to be 0.193. The legal threshold in Indiana is 0.08.
After police arrived, Trosclair approached the scene. Police said he appeared to be intoxicated and became angry, demanding to speak with a lawyer and acting belligerent, to the point that he resisted repeatedly as officers struggled to put him in handcuffs.
The infant, which was 7 months old, was taken to Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health, where she was found to have no signs of intoxication or other physical signs of abuse or neglect.
Trosclair and Treba are from Mobile, Alabama, according to online court records. The jury issued its ruling Thursday after a daylong trial in Marion Superior Court, Criminal Division 17, prosecutors said.
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