News Law and Policy

Plea Deal Reached in Bei Bei Shuai Prosecution

Jessica Mason Pieklo

Bei Bei Shuai's long ordeal is finally over, just as Purvi Patel's begins.

Late Friday attorneys for the State of Indiana announced they had reached a plea deal in the case of Bei Bei Shuai, the Chinese immigrant charged with murder and attempted feticide following a suicide attempt. Shuai ingested rat poison while pregnant. She was rushed to the hospital by friends and survived, but the baby she was carrying did not.

The plea deal brings an end to years of litigation in what has become a high-profile case, but it hardly represents the end of Indiana’s attempts to criminalize pregnant women in crisis. Purvi Patel faces charges of felony neglect of a dependent following an investigation of a deceased fetus allegedly found in a shopping center dumpster. Patel had originally been charged with feticide, and a forensic pathologist claims the fetus took a breath before it died. Patel claims the delivery was a stillbirth.

Under the deal, Shuai pleaded guilty to criminal recklessness, a Class D misdemeanor but will not have to serve any additional jail time. The agreement comes just a few weeks before jury selection was set to begin. Shuai’s trial was scheduled to begin September 3.

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