KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - The mother of a baby who had been dead for a week before he was born and had cocaine in his system is being sought by authorities on second-degree murder charges.
Beverly Ferguson, 43, will be held in lieu of $150,000 bond when she is caught, said Knoxville Police Department spokesman Darrell DeBusk.
A state law passed in 1989 states that a viable fetus could be considered a victim of assault or homicide.
Ferguson slipped out of St. Mary's Medical Center on March 28 within 30 minutes of giving birth to the stillborn child.
The attending physician estimated the boy, which was more than eight months into gestation, had been dead for about a week, records show.
Autopsy results released this week showed the cause of death to be "maternal cocaine abuse," and a murder warrant was obtained for Ferguson, DeBusk said.