SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The Federal Court has reinstated involuntary manslaughter charges against an Agency Village woman in the death of her baby.
Samantha Flute had the baby boy August 2016 in Sisseton. Four hours later, doctors say her son died of drug toxicity from the drugs Flute took before he was born.
Flute tested positive for cocaine and various prescription and over-the-counter drugs. She was originally charged with involuntary manslaughter in 2017.
However, a federal judge dismissed the charge, saying that the laws in place cannot be applied to a pregnant woman for any actions she takes with respect to her unborn child.
Now the Eighth Circuit has reversed that ruling in a 2-1 decision, rejecting Flute’s argument that the baby boy was not yet a human being when the injuries were sustained in utero.
The majority of the three-judge panel based their decision on the fact that the baby boy was born alive.