Woman whose baby died after giving birth in jail appears in court

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – It was an emotional morning in court for a woman whose baby died after she gave birth in jail this week.

She went before a judge Thursday morning for her probation violation hearing, which is what put her behind bars in the first place.

Shawna Tanner cried as she entered the courtroom Thursday and spoke with her attorney. Her family and friends say she was nearly eight months pregnant when she went into labor at MDC Monday where her baby boy died.

Thursday morning, a judge agreed to let her out of jail.

Tanner’s family and friends say staff at MDC ignored her calls for help Sunday when she was bleeding and cramping. They say when staff took her to the infirmary the next day, Tanner gave birth and the baby died.

The judge didn’t go into detail about the probation violation, but as KRQE News 13 reported Wednesday, police arrested Tanner — who has a history of drug arrests — two weeks ago after failing a drug test while on probation.

Thursday, she admitted to the violation. The judge agreed to let her out of jail and into an intensive outpatient program.

A close friend says Tanner is devastated over the baby’s death.

“They send her back to jail after that traumatizing experience. I mean, she’s never going to be the same in her mind. I mean, who does that? There’s no words really,” said Jennifer Bianchi, Tanner’s friend.

Tanner will be back in court in 60 days for sentencing. If she doesn’t mess up during that time, she’ll be released from probation. If she violates it again, she could face four years in jail as a habitual offender.

MDC says the baby’s death is under investigation, but won’t provide more information because of medical privacy laws.


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