Baby of Shooting Victim Has Drugs In Her System

Baby of Shooting Victim Has Drugs In Her System

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- State attorneys have asked for a "do not resuscitate" order for a baby delivered posthumously after her mother was shot to death.

The girl, called Janie by medical staff at LDS Hospital, is in critical condition, suffers from brain damage and has tested positive for cocaine, opiates and barbiturates, the state attorneys told a child-welfare hearing Tuesday.

Third District Judge Elizabeth Lindsley awarded the state Division of Child and Family Services temporary custody of Janie and asked the lawyers for a formal written motion.

The mother, Darla M. Woundedhead, 30, who was seven months pregnant and had had two other children born with drugs in their system, died early Thursday from a shotgun blast to the chest and upper abdomen at the Dream Inn.

Police said she was shot when she answered a knock at the door.

Police said drugs and drug paraphernalia were in the motel room and drugs.

Officers on Friday arrested Kerri Armant, 32, who allegedly was seen leaving the hotel with three unidentified men.

After Woundedhead died, physicians at LDS Hospital performed a Caesarean section to deliver her baby.

Assistant Utah Attorney General Annette T. Jan said the baby has a severe brain hemorrhage, suffers from seizures, is not responding to pain stimuli and is on life support.

DCFS Deputy Director Duane Betournay said Janie is sedated and on a respirator. Doctors don't know whether she has brain activity, Betournay said.

He said his office was gathering more medical information about Janie before filing a motion formally asking Lindsley to issue the nonresuscitation order.

Phil Rivera, an attorney appointed by the court to represent the girl, said that although shotgun pellets did not strike the child, the trauma to Woundedhead adversely affected her.

Betournay said no one has claimed to be the girl's father and no family has expressed an interest to DCFS in taking custody of Janie.

Woundedhead was a member of the Oglala-Sioux Tribe in Pine Ridge, S.D.

Marie Fox Belly, administrator for the tribe's child welfare office, told The Salt Lake Tribune that her agency filed a motion to intervene and to have the child eventually placed with a family. Fox Belly said two of Woundedhead's cousins have told her they are interested in taking the child.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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