U.S. News

Murder charges dropped against Indiana woman who ate poison while pregnant

INDIANAPOLIS (Reuters) - Indiana prosecutors dropped murder and attempted feticide charges on Friday against an Indianapolis woman who tried to commit suicide by eating rat poison near the end of her pregnancy.

Bei Bei Shuai, 36, was charged in March 2011 with knowingly killing a viable fetus, prosecutors said.

Shuai walked out of Marion County Superior Court in Indianapolis a free woman on Friday after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor charge of criminal recklessness for the death of her daughter, Angel. She had been released from prison on bond in May 2012. Under the plea agreement, she did not have to serve more jail time.

“I have to say thank you to everyone who supported me before because without them, I’m not going to be able to continue to today,” Shuai told reporters in footage posted on the Indianapolis Star website.

Shuai consumed rat poison while 33 weeks’ pregnant in December 2010, prosecutors said. She was taken to a hospital where she admitted to attempting to kill herself after her boyfriend left her, according to a police statement.

Shuai’s baby girl, Angel Shuai, was born alive, but died a few days after being taken off life support.

Shuai is from China and has no family members in the United States, according to her lawyer, Linda Pence.

Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry said his office had always been willing to resolve the case for lesser charges. Earlier proposed deals had been rejected by the defense.

Curry said decisions by the trial judge about what could and could not be entered into evidence at the trial played a role in the negotiations.

Reporting by Susan Guyett; Editing by Mary Wisniewski and Peter Cooney