No more jail time for woman whose baby died after suicide attempt
An Indianapolis woman accused of murdering her baby will not spend anymore time in jail after accepting a plea deal.
"I would like to say thank you everyone," said a grateful Bei Bei Shuai, who emerged from court Friday afternoon a free woman, no longer facing trial for attempting suicide which led to the death of the child she was pregnant with more than two years ago.
"From the get go, I've always been convinced that this case was not a criminal case, should never have been filed and I know that if we went in front of the jury, that we would prevail," said Shuai's attorney, Linda Pence.
Instead, Shuai and her attorney agreed to a lesser charge of criminal recklessness. She was sentenced to time already served, after spending 178 days in the Marion County Jail.
"This was never a criminal case," said Pence.
"This woman was in the throes of depression, which is not unusual for pregnant women. She attempted to commit suicide which is a lawful act in Indiana."
The death of Shuai's unborn child as a result of swallowing rat poison, became a point of debate between pro-life and pro-choice groups.
"What she was charged with was somehow separately terminating her pregnancy. That's an abortion and that's legal," explained Pence.
Pence called for state lawmakers to take a look at the laws surrounding the death of an unborn child in Indiana,saying they were written to protect pregnant women from losing their pregnancies if someone else tries to harm them.
"Here was a woman that attempted a lawful act of suicide because of her depression, losing her baby and the one who suffered grief. The one who will suffer the rest of her life, over her actions, was not anybody in this courthouse or any juror. It will be this woman, who has slept with the ashes of her child and will have those issues with her the rest of her life," said Pence.
Her life, Shuai said, will now include going back to work at a local restaurant.