February 14, 2018 10:59:05 AM
A Starkville woman arrested for second-degree murder in the death of her newborn researched ways to have a miscarriage before attempting to birth it, according to a new filing in Oktibbeha County Circuit Court.
In a motion for the appointment of an expert, filed by the state Tuesday in circuit court, prosecutors note 32-year-old Latice Fisher admitted to a nurse at OCH Regional Medical Center that she knew she was pregnant before she attempted to deliver her baby on April 28, 2017.
Later the motion, prosecutors say that Fisher said in an interview "she didn't want any more kids, that she couldn't afford any more kids, and that she simply couldn't deal with being pregnant again."
A review of data from Fisher's cell phone revealed that, on April 17, 2017, "well into Fisher's third trimester," she searched "buy abortion pills, mifepristone [sic] online," "misoprostol online" and "buy Misoprostol Abortion Pill Online." The motion says she purchased misoprostol -- a medication used for medical abortions, medical management of miscarriage and induction of labor -- after searching online.
The state is requesting to retain the services of a toxicologist and a fetal medicine/obstetrics specialist to determine the effects of misoprostol on a late term pregnancy such as Fisher's. The expert, if allowed, also would provide testimony about how the use of the abortion pill would have affected the baby and Fisher's delivery.
A grand jury indicted Fisher for second-degree murder on Jan. 5. According to the motion, she was charged with "killing her infant child while in the commission of an act eminently dangerous and evincing a depraved heart."
She was arraigned on the charge in circuit court on Jan. 31 and booked into Oktibbeha County Jail, where she remains on $100,000 bond.
Fisher is a former Starkville Police Department radio operator. Aldermen fired her on Feb. 6, after she was charged with murder.
Tuesday's filing provides the most detailed account yet of the events that surround the baby Fisher's death, and corroborates a Feb. 7 report by The Dispatch that Fisher left the baby in a toilet.
According to the motion, Charles Fisher Jr., Latice Fisher's husband, called 911 at 12:51 a.m. after finding Latice Fisher on the toilet above the baby.
An emergency medical technician arrived to find the baby still in the toilet, "covered in feces and blood," with the umbilical cord attached to Fisher. According to the filing, the EMT reported that the baby appeared to be more than 35 weeks in gestation and weighed approximately six pounds. The EMT also reported that the baby had no heartbeat and was blue.
The baby's body was sent to the Mississippi State Medical Examiner's Office. The medical examiner found that the baby likely died due to a combination of positional and mechanical asphyxia. The examiner also found that drowning could not be ruled out as a cause of death.
Fisher, according to the motion, told the EMT she just delivered the baby and did not know she was pregnant.
However, it was at OCH that Fisher admitted to the nurse she had been aware of the pregnancy for at least one month. She said the pregnancy was diagnosed during an annual gynecological exam a month earlier, and that she didn't make any follow-up appointments for ultrasound pregnancy dating or any other type of prenatal care.
Fisher told the EMT she began cramping at about 7 p.m. on April 27, 2017. When talking to the nurse at OCH, Fisher said she didn't immediately call for help because she thought she just needed to have a bowel movement.
The motion says that Fisher told the nurse she sat on the toilet and began cramping and bleeding, and was on the toilet for three hours while her husband slept downstairs.
According to the report, 911 records show that Fisher called her husband at 12:49 a.m., and he called 911 two minutes later.
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