NRL News

Feticide trial coming to a conclusion, Purvi Patel’s case could reach jury as early as Monday

by | Jan 30, 2015


By Dave Andrusko

Purvi Patel

Purvi Patel

Once the prosecution had rested its case against Purvi Patel, on trial for child neglect and feticide, it meant the last day and a half were the opportunity for Patel’s attorney to rebut the prosecution’s case.

As this story was being posted, a tweet from a local reporter said Patel was consulting with her lawyers whether or not to testify on her own behalf. A moment later the answer was no.

Patel, 33, is accused of taking abortifacients purchased on the Internet, aborting her child, and then discarding her newborn baby into a dumpster in back of Moe’s Southwest Grill, the family restaurant in Mishawaka, Indiana, in July 2013.

Her parents and a pathologist were among those testifying for the defense.

In a taped interview Patel conducted from her hospital bed the night the baby died, Patel told police she had only found out she was pregnant three weeks earlier and that she thought she was about two months along, WSBT reported.

According to WSBT

Patel said the baby was lifeless when it was born, but she opened its mouth and tried to revive it. She said she didn’t call 911 because she was in shock, and she put the infant in a plastic bag because she didn’t know what else to do.

Purvi Patel is accused of throwing her newborn baby into this dumpster behind her family's restaurant.

Purvi Patel is accused of throwing her newborn baby into this dumpster behind her family’s restaurant.

On Thursday Patel’s defense attorney argued that there was no proof Patel actually received and took the pills she ordered online. According to published accounts, Dr. Prentice Jones, a toxicologist, told jurors that he couldn’t find any accepted method to test her blood for the particular drugs Patel allegedly used.

And, according to a tweet from WSBT’s Kelli Stopczynski , this afternoon a

Defense’s pathologist says baby at center of #pateltrial was 23/24 weeks gestation and lungs “not capable” of breathing.”

Doctors had previously estimated she was 6-7 months pregnant.

As previously reported in NRL News Today, a key witness for the prosecution was a woman identified as Faye. Mark Peterson of WNDU reported that

When police took Patel’s cellphone into evidence testimony indicates they found 52,000 text messages. Many of the messages were between Patel and Faye and allegedly documented everything from Patel’s positive pregnancy test, to her desire to buy abortion drugs off the internet, to the moment she actually put the pills in her mouth.

In one text, Faye offered to buy the abortion drugs Patel wanted so the Patel parents wouldn’t find out.

Another text was allegedly sent just after Patel took those drugs and read, “Just lost the baby.”

Prosecutors say the next text came just three to four minutes later and indicated Patel was going to “clean up and head to Moe’s,” her parent’s restaurant. The child’s body was eventually found behind that restaurant in a trash dumpster.

And as we reported yesterday, Kelly McGuire, a second doctor called in the night Patel arrived at the St. Joseph Regional Medical Center “testified that, given the size of Patel’s umbilical cord and the position of her placenta, he fully expected to find a live baby.” He called in police and rushed with them when he learned that Patel had told another doctor she’d put the baby in a dumpster behind Super Target in Mishawaka.

The trial, now in its fifth day, could go to the jury as early as Monday.

Categories: Crime