Child abuse charge amended

Child abuse charge amended
A Sharon woman accused of giving birth to her baby while on drugs had her court case continued after appearing in Weakley County General Sessions Court Wednesday morning. Jennifer Karen Wilson (Bohman), 26, of North Martin Avenue in Sharon was charged with child abuse and neglect in May after doctors allegedly found antidepressants in her newborn baby’s system. Sharon Police Lt. Jason Edwards said at the time the department was notified by the State Department of Children’s Services when blood tests revealed five types of narcotics in Wilson’s system after delivery at a McKenzie hospital. An affidavit of complaint states the mother admitted to taking Xanax and Hydrocodone and tested positive for cocaine while pregnant. Blood tests revealed PCP, THC, Benzo and Opiates in Wilson’s system after she delivered her child. The newborn allegedly tested positive for TCA and Opiates, according to the affidavit. Wilson was originally charged with the Class D felony charge of child abuse and neglect. Assistant District Attorney Kevin McAlpin explained on Wednesday the State will amend the charge to assault or reckless endangerment. “One AG’s (attorney general’s) opinion says child abuse and neglect cannot be charged against a mother if the child hasn’t been born yet. In other words, a fetus does not fall under the statute of child abuse,” McAlpin said. He added another attorney general’s opinion states a charge of assault can be levied against a mother if the acts occurred before a child is born. The assistant D.A. said while he doesn’t anticipate long-term health damage as a result of Wilson’s drug use during preganacy, he is waiting on an opinion from a doctor at Vanderbilt Hospital in Nashville. If long-term negative health effects can be determined by a doctor, McAlpin said the State would seek aggravated assault charges against Wilson. Reckless endangerment is a Class E felony charge. As of press time, Wilson’s next court date is unknown. Her child was placed into foster care May 14.

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