An unborn baby inmate who is in jail for a crime it didn’t commit has retained an attorney.
The attorney for a pregnant murder suspect in Florida also represents her unborn baby in a false arrest case that could set legal precedent.
Natalia Harrell, 24, is charged with fatally shooting Gladys Yvette Borcela, 28, in a crowded Uber last July.
Harrell, who was 6 weeks pregnant at the time, invited Borcela to join her, a third woman and four men partying at a bar on South Beach in Miami.
After a night of dancing and drinking excessively, the group of 7 piled into an Uber. Tensions soon escalated between the two women.
“You don’t want this. You don’t want me to go in my purse,” Harrell allegedly told Borcela, before reaching into her purse to retrieve a weapon.
Video from inside the Uber shows Borcela lunged at Harrell, who fired a single shot, striking Borcela in the abdomen and hand. Borcela was later pronounced dead at a local hospital.
Harrell was arrested and is being held without bond on a charge of second-degree murder.
7 months later, her attorney wants a judge to release Harrell and her unborn baby from jail, since the child has not been charged with any crime.
Last Thursday, attorney William Norris filed an emergency habeas corpus petition on behalf of the unborn child.
The petition claims that Harrell’s unborn baby has not been charged with any crime by the State and yet has been placed in an “inherently dangerous environment… in close proximity to violent criminal offenders.”
Norris noted that an unborn child is legally recognized as a person under Florida law. He added that the child has been subjected to “unlawful and illegal detention.”
“A person has constitutional rights, and one of them is the right not to be deprived of liberty without due process of law,” Norris wrote.
Norris also complained that his client, a boy, has not received adequate prenatal care while his mother has been locked up. He’s asking for Harrell to be released on bond under house arrest and only leave her home for medical visits.
Miami-Dade Corrections responded to the petition, saying the jail partners with Jackson Health System to provide timely healthcare to all inmates.
Borcela’s mother, Yvette Rivera, took to Facebook to express her outrage. “Natalia Harrell Killed My Daughter And Now Is Trying To Get A Get Out Of Jail Free Card.”
Another attorney who represents Harrell says she acted in self-defense and that she is requesting to have her case dismissed on the basis of Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law.
Legal experts say Harrell may have a case for self-defense. But her unborn baby doesn’t have a leg to stand on since unborn babies don’t have rights inside the womb.
A judge is expected to rule on the various petitions. According to ABC News local affiliate WPLG, a bond hearing for Harrell is scheduled for March 7.
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