Indiana Woman Charged With Feticide, Involuntary Manslaughter for Taking Meth While Pregnant

ANDERSON, Ind. — An Indiana woman has been charged with feticide and involuntary manslaughter after she allegedly took methamphetamine and other drugs while pregnant, which authorities state resulted in the child being stillborn.

Kelli Leever-Driskel, 34, was officially charged on Wednesday following the December birth, and faces three to twenty years behind bars if convicted.

According to Fox 59, a man called 911 on Dec. 23 to report that Leever-Driskel had birthed a baby. The child, a boy, was not alive. Leever-Driskel allegedly told police that she had been sleeping, and when she woke up, she saw that she had delivered her baby.

An autopsy revealed that Leever-Driskel’s son died from a separation of the placenta from the uterine lining. Toxicology tests also found seven different drugs in the baby’s blood, including methamphetamine, fentanyl, clonazepam and diphenhydramine.

Prosecutors initially wanted to charge Leever-Driskel with murder, but said that the question was, “[D]id the taking of the drugs cause the rupturing of the placenta?” Police state that the woman continued taking drugs after realizing in November that she was pregnant.

“We asked for an extension to evaluate the case with specific telephone conversations with the pathologist. I reached a conclusion that [I] was unable to prove a knowing or intentional murder in that there are a number of ways that this child died with the injury to the placenta,” Madison County Prosecutor Rodney Cummings told Fox 59.

“But the number one reason, medical reason, would be methamphetamine,” he added. “That would be the number one reason for the injury to her body that caused the death of this child, but it’s not the only reason.”

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Therefore, Leever-Driskel was charged with feticide and involuntary manslaughter.

“Clearly this was reckless behavior. You can’t not know taking drugs would be doing harm to the fetus,” Cummings said. “We charged her with the counts we believe we have the evidence for.”

He expressed sorrow over the number of babies that are found to have illicit drugs in their system.

“It’s incredibly sad. I guess it shouldn’t be shocking, but I still am [shocked],” Cummings remarked. “If you look at the number of babies in our community that are born either addicted to drugs or under the influence of heroin and meth and fentanyl and crimes like that, it’s 22 to 25 percent in this community—a shocking number, an absolutely shocking number.”

According to the Herald Bulletin, Leever-Driskel’s baby was named Markel, and weighed four pounds, five ounces.

As previously reported, the National Safety Council recently reported that the national opioid crisis is one of the main reasons for the “unprecedented spike” in preventable deaths in 2016, the latest year tallied by the organization.

“Unintentional opioid overdose deaths totaled 37,814 from drugs including prescription opioid pain relievers, heroin and illicitly-made fentanyl,” the council noted.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced last February that drug overdose deaths have nearly tripled over a period of almost two decades, as an estimated 16 out of every 100,000 Americans lost their lives from an overdose in 2015, compared to 6 in 1999.

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  • Robin Egg

    I absolutely agree one hundred percent with the prosecutors for filing involuntary manslaughter charges against this woman. Could this actually be the beginning of the end of legal abortion? That someone actually has seen the Light that these are human beings, not fetuses or a clump of cells? Now, had she walked into an abortuary and paid an abortionist to rip her baby out of the uterus by chopping it up, pulling off his limbs and then crushing the skull, or being given an abortion pill that will kill the child while still in the womb, will anybody that has a functioning brain be able to see the reality of an actual baby existing? Please Dear Lord, use this case to Your Glory. I may be reaching too far to have that hope, but it would be a step in the right direction.

    • DrIndica

      Since the growth of the use of crack cocaine in the 1980’s many states have begun prosecuting mothers for, at least, child abuse for drug use during pregnancy. Unfortunately, this has, mostly, only been applied to the use of controlled substances. Time to add alcohol and/or cigarette use as a criteria for prosecuting abusers.

  • ♥LadyInChrist♥InGodITrust♥

    They are recognizing the Humanity of the unborn. We need more laws that recognize the Humanity of the unborn.
    Very sad that her son died.

  • LynnRH

    But I thought today’s society believe’s the unborn is not human. Therefore to cause the unborn’s death is not called murder? Huh? So why is abortion (the killing of the unborn) not considered murder? Such a crazy, mixed-up, lost world we live in.

    • DrIndica

      In Nebraska and Minnesota, at least, maybe more, if someone kills a pregnant woman and the baby dies, the perpetrator can be charged with double homicide.

    • Amos Moses – He>i

      pray for this woman to heal her addiction and come to the knowledge that even these sins are forgivable in Christ Jesus ….. that almost no sin is unforgivable ….. even abortion …..

      • LynnRH

        I do Amos Moses. I sure do that. As I’ve told many on this Christian website several times I’m praying for them also whether they want me to or not. Before I was saved there were people praying for my salvation and look where it got me. Hallelujah! Praise the Lord God Almighty I am His!!!!

        • Amos Moses – He>i

          Amen ………. i knew you did those things ….. it was not just for your ears ….. er …. eyes ….

        • ♥LadyInChrist♥InGodITrust♥


    • Drake

      No, today’s society doesn’t have a belief on any issue. Only individuals have beliefs. But you are right– it is a crazy mixed-up broken world we live in.

  • Recognizing_Truth

    God recognizes the life that is in the womb. It is good that the laws of Indiana, at least in this respect, are in agreement with God’s laws. It is unfortunate that federal laws do not agree, and have cleared the way for people to willingly kill their children in the womb.

    But God is still patient, not wishing that any should perish and suffer the just punishment for their sins. Even now he is calling – through His people as we go and preach the Gospel, through His Word as it is heard and people respond in faith, through His Spirit who is convicting the world about sin and righteousness and judgment – all people to find forgiveness in His Son.

    For the salvation of every one of them we should pray diligently, and must not faint or lose heart – Jesus saves!

  • Croquet_Player

    This is insane. If a pregnant lady gets in a car crash and loses a fetus is she a “murderer”? Women lose pregnancies all the time, for reasons we will never know. Often, women who desperately want to have the fetus, they think they may, or be not, be carrying at that moment, may lose it. Who is to judge this? This way lies lunacy. Some of my dearest friends, who dearly wanted a baby, had very risky pregnancies. What, they should have just DIED? One of my best friends nearly bled out on the table. Another friend had a stroke at 25, with her third baby. She’ll never walk or talk like a normal person again. Her husband is taking care of their entire family. This is a matter between a woman her doctor. It’s no one else’s business. These are private matters, which the government may have no say in.

    • Drake

      If what you say is true, the government shouldn’t have acted to allow legal abortions from Roe vs. Wade, and this would be a better world for not slaughtering countless unborn children.

      • Croquet_Player

        Hooray. You are the first person willing to die from pregnancy. Bravo, you.

        • Drake

          More people suffer from badly performed abortions than die from pregnancy. And if getting pregnant is such a risk, why get pregnant?

          But consider: Jesus Christ was willing to die for your sins and mine. And He proved it. Since He led a perfect and sinless life, He was worthy to be resurrected, and He proved it. Now, if we accept that He has taken away our sins and believe that He is risen from the dead, why should we fear death?

          I have hope in Christ. Where is your hope?

          • Croquet_Player

            Not in the U.S. Women are more likely to die from pregnancy/delivery complications than from abortion complications.

  • nchoss

    So it’s not about “Freedom of Choice” after all. The Democrats big scam is now exposed. It was all about sending their big campaign donor, Planned Parenthood more business. If a woman kills her baby herself she is charged with murder. She must go to Planned Parenthood so they can make money off killing the baby and selling parts so they have more money to give to Democrats