SOUTH BEND, Ind.--- Jurors reached a verdict tonight in the child neglect trial of Purvi Patel.
The Granger woman made headlines in July of 2013 when her baby’s body was discovered in a dumpster behind her family’s restaurant.
Patel was found guilty of felony child neglect and feticide charges. The deliberations lasted about five hours.
Patel left the courthouse in handcuffs and in custody, at least for now.
Her bond was increased to $200,000 cash, or $20,000 corporate surety to reflect an expanded flight risk due to the convictions.
“These are difficult cases, difficult for the jury, and difficult all around,” said Deputy Prosecutor Mark Roule.
Patel was convicted of using abortion drugs she bought online without a prescription to terminate a secret pregnancy caused by a married man.
But a drug designed to deal with a fetus the “size of a jellybean” didn’t work at her advanced stage of pregnancy.
“She had the baby that she wasn’t expecting and obviously her choices are what we talked about for the past week,” said Roule.
The baby turned up dead in a trash dumpster behind the Mishawaka restaurant he Patel family owns.
It as a child that prosecutors said got not a second of comfort or warmth from its mother, and didn’t even get a name.
Patel’s attitude was perhaps captured in a text to a friend that read, “Just lost the baby. I’m going to clean up my bathroom floor and then go to Moe’s.”
Sentencing has been set for March 6th. The child neglect charge carries a maximum of 50 years behind bars.
The feticide charge carries a maximum of 20 years.
Neither charge has a mandatory minimum prison sentence.
Much of the testimony centered around whether the baby was alive or dead when delivered by Patel.
The jury heard from a doctor for the defense who said Patel's fetus "was not viable," meaning it could not have survived outside of the womb.
She estimated that Patel's pregnancy was in the 23 to 24 week range and stated that there was no evidence that the child ever took a breath.
Prosecutors pointed out that the doctor was being paid to testify, and didn't personally handle the child's body during her examination.
Closing arguments were held on Tuesday morning, and the jury began deliberations on Tuesday afternoon.