A woman in a Texas prison said jailers ignored her pleas when she went into premature labor, forcing her to deliver the baby on her own, WFAA reported. The woman claims jail officials believed she was faking labor.
Shaye Bear was five months pregnant when she said she gave birth to a 1-pound, 2-ounce baby on Thursday. She claimed guards ignored her screams and pleas for help, WFAA reported.
“The guards would walk by and tell me they wouldn’t do nothing for me until I had that baby in that cell,” said Bear, who named the child Cashh.
The child is clinging to life at Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth, WFAA reported.
The Texas Rangers are investigating the case, WFAA reported. A spokesman declined comment.
Ellis County Sheriff Charles Edge also declined to comment, but said Bear received medical care while in jail.
“We have all the records where that mother was treated the entire time she was in here due to her pregnancy,” Edge told WFAA.
Bear, who said she is a meth addict, was several months pregnant when she was arrested on a drug charge March 10.
Bear saw a doctor on the day she gave birth, but there was no indication she was in labor, WFAA reported. Later that afternoon, she appeared before a judge to seek a reduction for her $5,000 bail and also said she was experiencing contractions.
“The DA asked, for my child’s safety, that I be left incarcerated,” she said. “I’m guessing from my previous history they were scared that I would have gone back to using drugs.”
The judge ruled that Bear should be placed in a single cell.
In her cell, Bear said her water broke and on the next contraction “the baby flies out of me and lands on the mat.”
Holding the baby in her arms, Bear said she crawled to the cell door and asked for help.
She said guards did not respond until she continued to yell, WFAA reported.
“There’s not a person who couldn’t tell me they didn’t hear me screaming, begging, praying,” Bear told WFAA.
Bear and Cashh were taken to Baylor Scott and White Medical Center in Waxahachie. The baby was then taken by a medical helicopter to Fort Worth.
It’s not the first time Bear has given birth while in jail. Last year, Bear was an inmate at the Dallas County Jail when she went to labor and gave birth to her second son at Parkland Hospital in Dallas, WFAA reported. She also has an 8-year-old son.
Bear has admitted she has a drug problem. She has been in jail several times over the past four years on drug charges, WFAA reported. She also spent time in a state prison drug treatment program.
Bear’s mother, Sherry White, is raising the children. She already has visited her new grandson, who remains in the hospital’s intensive care unit.
“They (jail staff) didn’t give that baby care,” White told WFAA. “That baby and my daughter have rights.”