Pregnant Inmate Gives Birth On Prison Cell Floor Of County Jail


Jessica Preston was eight months pregnant when she was pulled over by a police officer while driving. Her car had a rosary that the officer claimed obstructs the view.

$10,000 Cash Bond Or 14 Days In Jail

It started from there. Although Preston was not speeding or driving recklessly, she was driving on a suspended license so she was arrested and sent to see a judge, who gave her a very high bond.

It was the first time that Preston was caught driving on a suspended license but she was made to pay $10,000 cash bond or she had to stay in jail for 14 days while her hearing was set. Preston failed to pay the cash bond so she stayed at the Macomb County Jail.

Labor Signs

On her fifth day on jail, Preston started to experience pre-labor signs. She called for help at around 7:30 a.m. telling the deputies that she thinks she was in labor and would want to see medical staff. The deputies, however, told her they did not believe that she was in labor and sent her back to her cell. She returned to the D block, where the other inmates were already worried for her.

Preston rang again at 11:30 a.m. and a video even showed her being escorted to the medical area but she was sent back for the second time. Preston related that this time, the jail staff was very rude to her and called her a liar. She was also warned that they could put another charge on her.

Baby Elijah Born On The Jail Cell Floor

After about 90 minutes, Preston returned for the third time now with blood on her legs. She was told to carry her belongings and was transferred to a cell near the medical area. The video showed Preston lying down but not for very long. She called for help but the baby was already crowning when the nurse arrived. The baby named Elijah was born on the jail cell floor a month early than normal and at less than 5 pounds.

Macomb County Sheriff Anthony Wickersham, who was confident about his staff's action during the incident, said that the closest hospital from the jail is about three minutes away but Preston's baby came too fast for the jail staff to act.

Wickersham said that Peterson was taken off the cot close to the wall and placed on the floor on a mattress, where the baby was delivered.

Preston related that she was terrified and worried that she and her son could catch something possibly life-threatening.

The incident has prompted calls for investigation particularly since Macomb County Jail already has prior incidents of two inmates' deaths.

"I know they said that they were holding me because I had prior warrants. Ok, you're right, I did but what does that have to do with taking me to the hospital when I'm in labor," Preston said.

After giving birth to her son, Preston went back to jail and spent five more days there.

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