BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Prosecutors say there's not enough evidence to pursue criminal charges against two midwives who worked at a southwestern Idaho birthing center where a baby died in 2011.
Ada County prosecutors made the announcement Tuesday, saying that after an exhaustive investigation they could not prove that a crime occurred beyond a reasonable doubt.
The two women involved in the case, Coleen Goodwin and her daughter Jerusha Goodwin, had their midwifery licenses permanently revoked and were fined a total of $14,500 by the Idaho State Board of Midwifery last year after three babies died under their care at The Baby Place in Meridian. The board found they acted in "serious, unprofessional" ways and broke the rules of their profession while overseeing births.
State investigators said the Goodwins delivered babies with dangerously low heartbeats, interfered with emergency hospital transfers, failed to send a woman to the hospital when she had persistent vomiting and diarrhea, and allowed a baby's umbilical cord to hemorrhage blood.
Investigators with the Meridian Police Department concentrated their criminal investigation on the death of an infant in August 2011, where a mother labored for more than 48 hours and the infant was delivered "limp, unresponsive and pale" with a low heart rate. The investigators found the midwives weren't truthful about the seriousness of the infant's medical problems when the mother was later hospitalized.
The Goodwins could not be reached for comment. They have no current connection with the Baby Place, which changed its name to the New Beginnings Birth Center.