By Dave Andrusko
After some five hours of deliberations, a jury in Indiana Tuesday convicted Purvi Patel of feticide and neglect of a dependent. Ms. Patel posted bail late last night and sentencing is scheduled for March 6,
The jurors heard from 20 witnesses over a span of six days.
The prosecution said Patel, 33, took abortifacients purchased online from overseas in July 2013 and then deposited the body of her dead 25-30 week-old baby into a dumpster in back of Moe’s Southwest Grill, the family restaurant.
The defense argued, contrary to testimony from prosecution witnesses, that Patel’s baby boy was not viable and was already dead when born; that there was no physical evidence she’d actually taken the abortifacients; and that Patel tried to revive the baby, attributing her failure to call 911 to shock.
But in summarizing and quoting from the prosecution’s closing argument. WSBT’s Kelli Stopczynski wrote
The state told jurors Patel’s intent was to give herself an illegal abortion, and that’s what prosecutors say she did.
“This whole production is about a little boy…” said Deputy Prosecutor Mark Roule. “He wasn’t expected, he wasn’t wanted. He lived a brief and horrible life. What happened to him was very, very wrong.”
Roule reminded jurors about details they’ve already heard — that the baby was born on the bathroom floor at Patel’s home. She wrapped him in plastic bags and put him in a dumpster behind Moe’s Southwest Grill in Mishawaka – a restaurant her family owns.
Then, when her pain and bleeding wouldn’t stop, Patel went to the emergency room.
“She continued to lie to doctors and nurses…she tried to keep secret the fact that she’d been responsible for another life and done nothing,” Roule said.
Then, six months of text messages between Purvi Patel and her best friend about her irregular period, a positive pregnancy test in June and the abortion pills she ordered online and took, according to those texts.
According to WNDU
Patel’s attitude was perhaps captured in a text to a friend that read, “Just lost the baby. I’m going to clean up my bathroom floor and then go to Moe’s.”
There is no mandatory minimum prison sentence for either chair. “The child neglect charge carries a maximum of 50 years behind bars,” WNDU reported. “The feticide charge carries a maximum of 20 years.”