Inmate Babies - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

07/14/06 - Nacogdoches

Inmate Babies

by Donna McCollum

As reported on Thursday,  Amber McEntire has given birth to a baby girl. The mother remains in the Nacogdoches County Jail for the role she's accused of playing in the death of her first child 22-month old Harold Harris.  

Throughout McEntire's pregnancy she received proper prenatal care. On Wednesday she delivered naturally a six pound baby girl in a hospital where hundreds of East Texas babies are born. On Thursday McEntire was back behind bars where she'll continue to obtain postnatal attention and nursing. Sheriff Thomas Kerss said, "Other than that it's basically just treating the physical recovery that she is going to have to endure and than keeping tabs on her mental well being."

This care isn't out of the ordinary for any woman who just delivered, but a delivery by a jail inmate is far from usual.   "Due to the nature of the charges we, of course, had jail staff present throughout the delivery," said Kerss. One person there shared that the baby was whisked away. McEntire never saw nor held the child. There was concern for the infant's safety and welfare. After all McEntire is charged with injury to a child by omission.   The observer said the newborn baby girl resembles her father, Darrell Yates III who is charged with Harold's capital murder.  

Kerss said, "Both parents did a voluntary surrender for ran open adoption, but a lot of that was coordinated through child protective services and obviously the child wasn't going to be returned to the jail." By Friday afternoon the adoptive parents arrived to pick up their new baby girl. The adoption was handled through a well respected Houston agency.   

Amber's father Doug McEntire said in a telephone interview that it bothers him that he can't step up and take custody of the child. Mcentire said, "It's not the child's fault, so what kind of grandfather am I, but I'm human and this thing has affected me more than anything else in my life. It would be hard to look at the baby, as innocent as she is, without thinking that your father killed the most precious grandson that I had."  

In the Texas prison system there were 262 babies, including five sets of twins born during fiscal year 2005. So far this fiscal year 191 babies have been born.

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