Next defense steps unclear after Purvi Patel feticide ruling

Purvi Patel (St. Joseph County Jail)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A defense attorney is declining to comment on whether an Indiana woman might soon be released from prison after an appeals court overturned her feticide conviction.

Stanford University law professor Lawrence Marshall says he is reviewing the court’s decision and talking with Purvi Patel before deciding the next legal steps.

A jury convicted Patel of killing her premature infant by taking abortion-inducing drugs before delivering the infant at her home in Granger in 2013, then disposing of the infant’s body in a dumpster behind Moe’s Southwest on University Drive in Mishawaka.

The state appeals court said Friday that Patel should only be sentenced on a lower-level felony neglect of a dependent conviction. That carries a maximum 3-year prison term, rather than the 20-year sentence she received last year.

The Indiana attorney general’s office says it will confer with local prosecutors before deciding whether to appeal the decision.

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