SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — An appeals court has revived a federal involuntary manslaughter charge against a South Dakota woman whose baby died hours after birth from illegal drugs found in his system.
Samantha Flute was charged with the crime in 2016 when prosecutors said she killed the baby by ingesting cocaine and multiple prescription drugs while pregnant.
The Argus Leader reports that U.S. District Judge Charles B. Kornmann dismissed the charge against Flute in 2017. He said federal assault and murder statutes cannot be applied to the pregnant woman for any actions she takes with respect to her unborn child.
But the U.S. Eighth Circuit Court of Appeal ruled last week that the charge applies to a child born alive, even if the mother inflicted the injury before the birth.
Information from: Argus Leader, http://www.argusleader.com