Woman gives birth on jail floor; Sheriff on defense - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Woman gives birth on jail floor; Sheriff on defense

Sheriff Tony Wickersham defended the decisions of his jail staff after a woman was forced to give birth on the jail floor. (Source: WDIV/CNN) Sheriff Tony Wickersham defended the decisions of his jail staff after a woman was forced to give birth on the jail floor. (Source: WDIV/CNN)

MACOMB COUNTY, MI (WDIV/CNN) - A sheriff is responding to concerns about a female inmate, eight months pregnant, who was forced to give birth on a jail floor.

Jessica Preston was in jail on a driving offense when she went into labor.

A video shows Preston being sent back to her cell three times after telling staff she was having her baby. Her son was born behind bars, weighing less than five pounds.

In the past, two inmates who were not hospitalized died in the jail.

The sheriff said he's standing by his staff's decision in the latest incident.

"Two LPNs were working that day," Sheriff Ton Wickersham said. "They were on the phone with the doctor monitoring contractions, and the information at that time is that the baby started to come. They took her off the cot, which is close to the wall, put her on the floor, on a mattress and the baby was delivered."

The woman asked to go to the infirmary three times, once with blood on her leg. They didn't believe her, and she was sent back to the jail cell.

"They didn't believe her," said Linda Preston, the woman's mother. "They just left her (to) lay there. They didn't care. They just kept saying she wasn't having the baby, and I don't know how anybody could say when she was bleeding, 'You're not having a baby,' and that they didn't send her to the hospital. Who makes that call?

"Everybody just looked at her like she was a piece of dirt."

The sheriff said the hospital is about three minutes away.

"I know the mother has the medical records," Wickersham said. "I think that in all fairness, maybe those medical records should be brought out and let the people see what the medical staff did each time she was brought down. Could we have more medical staff? Could we have a full-time doctor on staff 24 hours a day? Obviously that is going to cost taxpayers more money to increase that kind of contract."

Copyright 2017 WDIV via CNN. All rights reserved.

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