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Unlicensed Nebraska midwife Angela Hock found not guilty

Posted at 2:51 PM, Dec 16, 2022

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — 3 News Now partner, Court TV, reported that a self-proclaimed, unlicensed Nebraska midwife has been cleared of criminal liability/responsibility for the death of a breech baby she tried to deliver in her parents’ home.

Baby Vera Noe died of complications from childbirth and not because of the actions of the woman who tried to deliver her legs first, a lawyer for unlicensed midwife Angela Hock told a Nebraska judge Thursday.

According to an article written by Court TV, prosecutors in Douglas County claimed Angela Hock acted recklessly and negligently from a place of “arrogance” when she tried to deliver the breech baby in her parents’ home instead of sending the mother to the hospital. Emergency medical technicians eventually delivered baby Vera in an ambulance, and she died two days later from a lack of oxygen to the brain, reported Court TV.

Hock’s defense argued Vera died of complications from childbirth and not because of Hock’s actions.

“Childbirth is dangerous” no matter where it takes place, defense lawyer Keith Dornan said in his closing argument Thursday. He accused prosecutors of scapegoating Hock for the actions of others, namely, her parents and medical staff.

“The State didn’t prove [Vera] would have lived but for Angee’s actions,” Dornan said. “The situation that placed her at risk was childbirth.”

Hock chose a bench trial, which meant Judge Timothy Burns decided her fate instead of a jury.

Court TV reported, Friday morning at 10 a.m. eastern, Judge Burns said, “There’s a vast difference between civil and criminal charges”.

The judge went on to explain while Hock wasn’t licensed, she had training and experience as a midwife.

“At no time did Ms. Hock misrepresent herself,” the judge said.

The court found Hock not guilty of all charges. Hock was free on bail and left the courtroom surrounded by supporters and her attorneys.

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