Alabama woman accused of using heroin while giving birth to baby who later died – AL.com
A Mobile woman is under arrest after authorities say she went into labor at home and used heroin to dull the labor pains, ultimately leading to the death of her newborn.
Amanda Danielle Malpas, 34, still had a needle protruding from her arm and was holding her infant daughter when first responders found her on the kitchen floor earlier this month, said Mobile County Sheriff’s Sgt. Mark Bailey.
Malpas is charged with chemical endangerment leading to death, which carries the same sentencing guidelines as murder. Bailey said the charges against her could later be upgraded to murder.
EMS workers responded on Saturday, March 5, to a 911 call from Malpas’ mobile home on Cowart Road in west Mobile County on a report of a woman going into labor.
When they arrived on the scene, Bailey said, Malpas was on the kitchen floor, holding her newborn daughter who was struggling to breath and barely conscious. A needle was still lodged in Malpas’ arm.
Paramedics started life-saving measures on the baby. Both mother and child were taken to Providence Hospital, where the baby was pronounced dead about an hour later.
Bailey said Malpas was eight months pregnant when she delivered the baby at home. The baby weighed between 5 and 6 pounds.
“She had never seen a doctor, never had an ultrasound or sonogram, and didn’t even know what sex the baby was,’’ Bailey said. “She had never been seen by OB-GYN and I guess was just prescribing herself home medication.”
Malpas remained hospitalized for several days after contracting COVID. Once she was released, she was arrested on March 17.
“She admitted to (EMS) and to us that she administered herself a large dose of heroin at the time of birth to deal with labor pains,’’ Bailey said. “She also admitted to us that she was an avid heroin and methamphetamine user during her entire pregnancy. She’s used illegal drugs most of her adult life.”
Malpas does not yet have any attorney to comment on her behalf. She will be arraigned on Wednesday.
Her grandmother, Shirley Watts, declined to comment except to say she wants to hear her granddaughter’s side of the story because, “I just can’t believe their side.”
Charging documents against Malpas state she told authorities she had been smoking meth in the days leading up to her giving birth.
“We believe her reckless and intentional use of heroin led to the baby’s death’' Bailey said.
Malpas does have other children but they are in the custody of their fathers after Malpas had been stripped of her parental rights, Bailey said.
Malpas remained in jail Monday with bond set at $75,000. Should she make bond, she will be required to enter a minimum 90-day inpatient drug rehabilitation program per a judge’s order.
Bailey said Malpas showed no remorse.
“It’s sad all the way around. It’s one of those cases you don’t want to be a part of and I’m thankful we don’t have many of those cases,’’ Bailey said. “Our job is to get justice for the child.”
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