Jailed pregnant woman awaiting murder trial says she should be released because her fetus is innocent

Francis Akhalbey February 23, 2023
Natalia Harrell (left) is accused of fatally shooting Yvette Borcela (right) -- Left Photo: Miami Dade Corrections | Right Photo: Daily Mail

The lawyer of a pregnant Florida woman who has been jailed as she awaits her murder trial is arguing that his client should be granted bail because her fetus is innocent and her detention is causing harm to her unborn child.

According to Daily Mail, authorities in Florida arrested and charged Natalia Harrell in connection with the July 2022 shooting death of 28-year-old Yvette Borcela. The 24-year-old suspect was six weeks pregnant at the time of the fatal incident.

Harrell is said to have fatally shot Borcela while they were riding in an Uber with a group of men they had earlier spent time with. The suspect allegedly opened fire on the victim after they got into an altercation. Prior to the shooting, the men as well as Harrell and Borcela had hung out at a bar.

The suspect was later arrested and jailed at Miami’s Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center in the wake of the incident. But on Thursday, Harrell’s lawyer, William M. Norris, asked for his client to be granted bail in court documents, arguing that the detention of the suspect’s unborn child was not right.

“UNBORN CHILD has not been charged with any crime by the State,” Norris stated in the writ of habeas corpus. “Further, the State has placed the UNBORN CHILD in such inherently dangerous environment by placing the UNBORN CHILD in close proximity to violent criminal offenders.”

Norris also argued that the unborn child’s rights are protected by the U.S. and Florida constitutions, and as such, the fetus’ “draconian confinement” was a violation of those laws. The lawyer said that Harrell’s continued detention was causing harm to her unborn child and denying it access to vitamins as well as specialists. 

Norris also argued that releasing the fetus from “unlawful and illegal detention” was right because it would prevent the baby from being born in a dangerous place, The Miami Herald reported. Norris has also claimed that Harrell opened fire on the victim because she worried about the safety of her baby after Borcela charged at her during the altercation, Daily Mail reported. But the victim’s mother took to Facebook to register her displeasure over the bail appeal.

“Natalia Harrell Killed My Daughter,” the victim’s mother shared. “And Now Is Trying To Get A Get Out Of Jail Free Card. Where Is The Justice In Miami Florida Dade County‼️ I Will Not Fall I Will Not Fail Till This Is Resolved #JusticeForGigi.”

Harrell’s friend is said to have invited Borcela to the bar. But the victim’s behavior as they were hanging out with the men allegedly upset Harrell. The two women later got into an altercation after they left the bar with the men and rode in the Uber. 

During the altercation, Harrell allegedly told Borcela, “You don’t want this; you don’t want me to go in my purse.”

The suspect then shot Borcela before the car stopped. The passengers then fled the scene, and Borcela was later pronounced dead at a hospital.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: February 23, 2023


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