Pregnant Michigan woman forced to deliver baby on jail cell floor
A Detroit woman behind bars for a driving offense shares her story of a dangerous delivery on her jail cell's floor after being repeatedly ignored by jail staff.
Jessica Preston was arrested for driving with an expired license -- her first offense -- and detained at the Macomb County Jail when she was eight months pregnant.
Preston was required to pay a $10,000 bond by a judge, however when she couldn't pay, she was taken into custody -- where she went into labor five days later.
There is footage of Preston alerting medical staff three times that she was going into labor. But Preston's mother told WDIV the staff didn't believe her.
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"They didn't believe her," her mother Linda Preston said. "They just left her [to] lay there. They didn't care. They just kept saying she wasn't having the baby, and I don't know how anybody could say when she was bleeding, 'You're not having a baby,' and that they didn't send her to the hospital. Who makes that call?"
As a result, baby Elijah was born behind bars on the cell floor, weighing in at less than five pounds.
The child's paternal grandmother Tina Chastain also weighed in.
"You can't do that to a human being," Chastain said. "You can't. It's not right. It's inhumane. How's it going to affect them to grow up to be an adult, knowing that [he] was born on the floor of a jail cell and wrapped up in a dirty sheet?"
The Macomb County Jail has a record with two other inmates like Preston who were not hospitalized while giving labor and died behind bars. The jail has also shown a pattern of refusing to transport inmates with medical emergencies to the hospital.
Since July 2013, the jail has been the focus of two-year investigation following the death of a mother who died in jail while serving a 30-day sentence for not paying child support. She was denied medical attention after begging medical staffers to receive help for an extreme fever. She died of sepsis 12 days later.