No child abuse charges for mom whose ...
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|Thu, 06-19-2008 - 10:26am|
No child abuse charges for mom whose baby tested positive for meth
GRAND ISLAND —
No charges will be filed in the case of a newborn with methamphetamine in her system.
Sandra Wetzel, 26, gave birth to a baby girl on June 14 at St. Francis Medical Center, and the infant tested positive for the drug shortly after birth, Hall County Attorney Mark Young said.
He said Wetzel was referred to his office for child abuse, but no charges will be filed. Nebraska law, like that in many other states, doesn't consider injury to a fetus to be child abuse, he said.
The newborn was taken into protective custody with the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, and a juvenile case will be opened, he said.
"Sadly, this happens with some frequency," Young said of babies born with drugs in their systems.
Wetzel was arrested on warrants for writing bad checks in Sherman and Howard counties and for contempt in a child support case out of Hall County. The warrants weren't related to the case involving the baby. The contempt issue has been cleared, but Wetzel remained in the Hall County Jail, as of Wednesday afternoon, in the bad check cases, he said.
While it is outrageous that someone would use meth while pregnant, Young said, a case such as this highlights the need for more aggressive treatment options for drug users.
Information on the case has been incorrectly reported on at least two Web sites, including one for Nancy Grace, who has an interview and debate show on CNN's HeadlineNews.
Young said Grace's show has requested a telephone interview with him.