Newspaper Reports Rowland's Plea for Mental Help

Newspaper Reports Rowland's Plea for Mental Help

Save Story

Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- The mother charged with killing one of her twins by delaying a Caesarean section wants a civil commitment to a psychiatric facility.

"I want to go where they can help me," Melissa Ann Rowland told the Deseret Morning News for a copyrighted story. "I've even offered to be sterilized if these people will let me out of this jail."

Rowland, 28, allegedly ignored multiple recommendations that she get a C-section to save the lives of her twins, one of whom was later delivered stillborn. She has denied the murder charge.

Defense attorney Michael Sikora filed a motion Friday to limit media access to Rowland. A judge has that under consideration.

Rowland on Monday described herself as severely depressed to the point of feeling suicidal and said she was not getting the mental-health care she needed in jail.

She said she could request a jail doctor who visits her to prescribe other medication, such as antidepressants, but she doesn't want to do that without a thorough psychiatric evaluation in a different, more therapeutic setting.

She said the antidepressant medication that is available to her in jail gives her energy and makes her want to be "out running around," not sitting in a cell.

"If this is their idea of forcing Melissa into a plea agreement, they're doing a damn good job of it," she said, wiping her eyes.

Rowland indicated she would even be willing to plead guilty to a crime she didn't commit if she could get out of the Salt Lake County Jail.

She said she would prefer a mental-health facility but suggested she would accept prison if necessary in order to get the kind of care she believes she needs.

"My life is a living hell in here," Rowland said. "People in prison have more freedom than this."

Rowland said she was locked in her cell in the health-services section of the jail 24 hours a day except to shower, see visitors and go to court.

"I can't handle stuff like this. I'm becoming a basket case," she said, adding she did not know if she could last until a preliminary hearing, which may not be held until June. "There's not going to be a 'me' left if I have to stay here."

Rowland's next court appearance is a scheduling conference set for Monday.

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Most recent Utah stories

Related topics



Get informative articles and interesting stories delivered to your inbox weekly. Subscribe to the Trending 5.
By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

KSL Weather Forecast