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Law

Sources: C-section mom to face fewer charges

Prosecutors to press on with murder charge

From Peter Ornstein
CNN

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Salt Lake City (Utah)
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SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (CNN) -- A woman accused of killing her unborn twin son by refusing a Caesarean section will have separate child endangerment charges against her dropped at a hearing Tuesday afternoon, court sources said.

Prosecutors filed the child endangerment charges two months ago when, they say, one of Melissa Ann Rowland's twins, a daughter, was born with traces of alcohol and cocaine in her system.

The male twin was stillborn, and officials charged Rowland last week with first-degree felony homicide in his death. She has entered a plea of not guilty.

Prosecutors allege she refused a C-section on several occasions for cosmetic reasons despite doctors telling her the surgery was necessary to save the unborn children.

Doctors at three Salt Lake City hospitals told authorities that Rowland was advised that a C-section could have saved her stillborn child's life.

Rowland's attorney says she suffers from mental problems, and some mental health advocates said they are concerned that her actions, including an alleged statement to a nurse that she'd rather lose a child than have a scar, indicates she is unstable.

Rowland will have a status hearing March 26 on the homicide charge.

The 28-year-old remains in jail. A judge has set bail at $300,000.


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