Bei Bei Shuai, the Chinese immigrant in Indiana who’s accused of murder for the death of her daughter Angel, who was delivered early after Shuai ingested rat poison in a failed suicide attempt, will go to trial in September. The prosecution currently has no evidence that the poison caused Angel’s death.
Officials have announced that jury selection for Shuai’s murder trial will begin on August 26. The trial is being delayed while the prosecution has a new medical expert examine evidence from the case. A prior medical examiner’s testimony was dismissed from the case, as it was discovered she never examined any potential cause of death besides the poison, which has not been shown conclusively to cross the placental barrier.
Shuai’s lawyer, Linda Pence, has decried the refusal to drop the murder charges against Shuai in light of the lack of evidence in the case. “As of now, they have not provided any testimony from an expert that can testify that the rat poison caused the death of the fetus, which is alarming to me,” Pence told RTV6 in Indiana. “When you charge someone with murder, the most heinous crime on the books, you would have competent good evidence before you made those charges.”
Shuai was held in jail without bail for over a year before being allowed out on bond. Both women’s rights and mental health rights groups have actively petitioned the court to drop the case, arguing that jailing a woman for attempted suicide while pregnant will set a precedent that will discourage pregnant women from seeking assistance when they have mental health crises.