A south Florida pregnant woman who was jailed in July for allegedly shooting and killing another passenger in the back seat of an Uber is petitioning for her release, arguing her unborn baby has not been charged with a crime.
In a petition filed with the Third District Court of Appeal on Feb. 16, Natalia Harrell’s attorney, Andre A. Rouviere requested the court immediately release his client’s unborn baby from the custody of the Miami-Dade Corrections and Rehabilitation Department.
Harrell, according to the petition, has been in jail for seven months and remains held without bond.
She was arrested on July 26, 2022, and charged with second-degree murder, a first-degree felony punishable by up to life in prison and a $10,000 fine.
ABC station WPLG in Miami reported that Harrell entered an Uber vehicle in downtown Miami at about 2:15 a.m. with six others, including 28-year-old Gladys Yvette Borcela.
The Uber vehicle was allegedly outfitted with a camera, which showed Harrell and Borcela get into an argument that turned physical. At one point, Harrell reached into a bag, pulled out a gun, and fired a single shot at Borcela.
The driver of the vehicle pulled over and everyone but Borcela exited the car. Emergency responders transported Borcela to an area hospital where she died that night.
Harrell was ultimately arrested on second-degree murder and held without bond.
In the petition for her release, Rouviere said, “time is of the essence,” adding that any sort of delay could mean serious harm or death to the unborn child.
The last time an OB-GYN physician saw the unborn child was in October 2022, Rouviere claimed, and there has not been any prenatal care for the child at the jail.
The unborn child, Rouviere continued, has not been charged with a criminal offense by the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s office, yet is in a detention center.
He also argues that Harrell and her unborn baby are in a cell block where violent criminals are housed, some of whom were disciplined or under investigation for fighting or committing crimes or violated detention center rules.Harrell’s unborn baby is about 8 months, and Rouviere says it has arms, eyes, and has developed body functions.
“The fact is, no OB-GYN physician or outside physician has examined Unborn Child since October 2022,” the attorney said. “It is a guess at this point whether Unborn Child will enter the world in four weeks or three weeks or less.”
The petition claims Harrell and her unborn child were left in a van with another inmate, with the motor off and the temperatures outside over 90 degrees. Inside the vehicle, the temperatures were over 100 degrees, the petition noted.
Also, on Feb. 12, Harrell was taken to a doctor to check on her sugar level and circulation of blood in her legs. At the time, the petition alleges, Harrell asked when a physician or OB-GYN would examine the unborn child, and she was told there would not be any appointments made “in the immediate or near future.”
The Miami-Dade Corrections and Rehabilitation Department did not immediately respond to questions about the petitioner’s claims.