Friday, December 23, 2011

Two Midwives Charged after Infant Death

Jacqueline Proffit
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department Homicide Detectives have arrested and charged Mary Stewart Barhite and Jacqueline Lynn Proffit, with practicing midwifery without a license (NCGS 90-178.3(a). North Carolina Statute states that in order to practice midwifery, one has to be board-certified as a registered nurse.

On December 16, 2011, at 7:59 p.m., Steele Creek Division officers responded to an Assist Medic call on Seamill Road. Upon officers and Medic’s arrival, they located an unresponsive newborn. It appeared that the mother participated in a water birth at home and there were complications; CPR was initiated and Medic transported the infant to Carolinas Medical Center for treatment. A short time later, the infant was pronounced deceased by medical personnel.

Mary Stewart Barhite
Homicide Detectives were contacted and responded to the residence and the hospital. While detectives were conducting their investigation, it was revealed two females that were in the residence during the time of the birth; practicing midwifery without a license. However, they did not have the proper license as required by North Carolina law.

Crime Scene Search responded to the scene to photograph it and collect physical evidence.  The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Homicide Unit responds to all infant deaths and conducts an investigation to ensure a successful conclusion.