Meth-addicted mother sentenced to prison for second-degree murder of unborn child

Theresa Hernandez, 31, wept in Oklahoma County Court as she pleaded guilty to second-degree murder of her stillborn baby last month. She should spend the rest of her childbearing years in prison, said Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater.

“Unfortunately for Mrs. Hernandez, she has experienced 10 pregnancies of her own. She has five children in the custody of others, and her parental rights have been terminated. She’s had four miscarriages and one stillbirth,” Prater said. “So we have now several live children who have been victimized, children who have passed away, and little baby boy Hernandez in this case. When is enough, enough?”

Therefore, Prater said, the state had a “compelling interest” to prevent her from having more children while hooked on methamphetamine. He asked the court for, and was granted, a 25-year sentence with 15 suspended.

He expressed hope that Hernandez would:
” attend drug treatment,
” acquire her general equivalency diploma, and
” “stay away from dope and stay away from bad men.”

DISAGREEMENT
Former Oklahoma County District Attorney Wes Lane originally had charged Hernandez with first-degree murder in the death of her unborn child. An autopsy conducted on the stillborn by the Oklahoma Office of the Chief Medical Examiner concluded he was killed by Hernandez’s ingestion of a massive amount of methamphetamine.

However, Integris Health doctors at the hearing gave statements to media that there is no proof that the ingestion of meth can harm a developing fetus.

“From a medical standpoint, I cannot see how sentencing her can serve the women in Oklahoma,” Reshef said. “Ben Fenwick

Ben Fenwick

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