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Feticide conviction thrown out by appeals court

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WISH) — A woman who received a 20-year sentence in a feticide case has had her conviction and sentencing thrown out by an appeals court.

Purvi Patel was sentenced in 2015 for neglect of a dependent and feticide, receiving 20 years for neglect and six for feticide, with the sentences running at the same time. The neglect charge was a class A felony and feticide a class B felony.

Patel’s conviction was overturned on Friday, with an appeals court ruling that a court re-sentence Patel for neglect of a dependent as a class D felony.

In a 42-page ruling, the appeals court stated that “the State failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the baby would not have died but for Patel’s failure to provide medical care.”

The ruling referenced the feticide, stating “we hold that the legislature did not intend for the feticide statute to apply to illegal abortions or to be used to prosecute women for their own abortions.”

Patel had purchased drugs from an online pharmacy in Hong Kong to terminate the pregnancy. She delivered the baby on July 13, 2013, drove to her work, put the baby in a dumpster, then drove herself to the emergency room.