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Ind. woman whose fetus died in suicide try freed

Associated Press Modified: May 22, 2012 at 10:45 am •  Published: May 22, 2012

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A Chinese immigrant who tried to kill herself by eating rat poison was free on bond Tuesday after more than a year in an Indianapolis jail on charges that she killed her 33-week-old fetus.

Bei Bei Shuai lugged a plastic bag full of her belongings and leaned on her attorney as she walked up a ramp toward reporters and friends waiting on the sidewalk outside the jail.

"I feel very happy," the 35-year-old Shanghai native said moments before she broke into tears and hugged her friends.

Defense attorney Linda Pence said one of Shuai's first moves would be to call her mother in China. Work on preparing for Shuai's Dec. 3 trial, she said, could wait a day.

"Today is a day of celebration," Pence said.

Shuai was 33 weeks pregnant when she ate rat poison on Dec. 23, 2010, after her boyfriend broke up with her. Shuai was hospitalized and doctors detected little wrong with the fetus' health for the first few days. The premature girl, Angel Shuai, was delivered by cesarean section Dec. 31, but she died from bleeding in the brain three days later after being removed from life support.

Prosecutors charged Shuai with murder in March 2011, arguing that a suicide note she wrote showed she intended to kill her baby as well as herself.

Shuai's attorneys sought to have the charges against her dismissed or have her released on bond, but Carlisle rejected those motions. The Indiana Court of Appeals declined to order the charges dropped, but did order Carlisle to set bail for Shuai, saying the defense had enough evidence to rebut the charges against her but that the case against her wasn't strong enough to keep her in jail.

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