Daniel mug

Latoni Daniel

Latoni Daniel has given birth to a boy, a child conceived in the Coosa County Jail according to her attorney, and is facing the death penalty if found guilty of capital murder and robbery.

“We have a 6-pound bouncing boy,” attorney Mickey McDermott said Wednesday afternoon.

McDermott represents Daniel in a yet to be filed civil action.

McDermott said the current plan is to allow Daniel’s family to care for the infant while Daniel continues to trial with no bond available.

“It is our understanding the infant will be released to a family member when he is medically cleared,” McDermott said.

In addition, attorneys are trying to make sure the baby has breast milk from Daniel. Wednesday morning, attorney Nancy Kirby who represents Daniel on the criminal charges filed a motion asking the court to make sure Daniel has access to a sanitary space, supplies and equipment to pump breast milk for the infant. Kirby’s motion states what the defendant is asking for is similar to a program at Julia Tutwiler Prison.

“Alabama Department of Corrections has partnered with the Alabama Prison Birth Project to allow incarcerated mothers in Tutwiler Prison to pump breast milk,” the motion says. “Tutwiler provides mothers with private lactation rooms, the appropriate medical-grade pumping equipment and rocking chairs. The breast milk is then labeled and stored in a freezer where once a week a representative of the Alabama Prison Birth Project picks up the milk and transfers it to the child’s caregiver.”

The motion states reasons to allow the pumping, freezing and transfer of breast milk is supported by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

“... Breastfeeding and breast milk have invaluable short-term and long-term health benefits for the child and mother,” the motion reads. “Breastfed infants have fewer incidents of respiratory tract infections, ear infections, GI tract infections, necrotizing enterocolitis, sudden infant death syndrome, infant mortality, allergic disease, celiac disease, obesity, diabetes, childhood leukemia and lymphoma.”

The motion asks for an appropriate caloric diet, prenatal vitamins, a manual or electric breast pump, storage bags, a private space to pump on a regular basis, a freezer for storage of the breast milk and coordination of transfer to the infant’s caregiver.

Daniel, 26, of Alexander City was arrested and has been in jail since December 2017 on charges of capital murder and robbery. Daniel was transferred from the Coosa County Jail to the Talladega County Jail in December 2018 after it was learned she was pregnant.

Daniel is a co-defendant with LaDaniel Martel Tuck, 28, of Alexander City in the December 2017 robbery and shooting of Thomas V. Chandler of Goodwater, a case where the state is seeking the death penalty if she is convicted.

McDermott believes an investigation is needed to see how Daniel got pregnant. He said Thursday he has not been advised it is being investigated and has put several government agencies on notice of potential civil litigation about the matter including the Coosa and Talladega jails, district attorneys, sheriff’s departments and county commissions. He said he has also put on notice the Alabama Attorney General’s office.

“By law, this woman can’t consent to sex in jail,” McDermott said earlier this month. “There is a felon possibly running around and they are not pursuing him.”

Coosa County Sheriff Michael Howell was elected to the office by Coosa County voters in November. Howell and newer administrators in the department officially took office in January. Howell said earlier this month he could not comment about Daniel and her situation.

McDermott said his client doesn’t recall a sexual encounter and may have been on a sedative for seizure disorder when she was possibly raped.

“She sleeps for long periods of time when she takes the medication,” McDermott said earlier in May. “She doesn’t recall anything.”

McDermott said he was filing paperwork Wednesday evening to ask the court’s help in determining the infant boy’s father.

“I will be filing paperwork asking for a paternity test for all male employees of the Coosa County Sheriff’s Department and jail staff,” McDermott said. “My client doesn’t know who it is. It could also have been someone else who was incarcerated.”

Cliff Williams is a staff writer for Tallapoosa Publishers.

Staff Writer

Cliff Williams is a staff writer for Tallapoosa Publishers.