ECSO finally issues statement more than two weeks after controversial birth in jail

ELLIS COUNTY — The Ellis County Sheriff's Office issued a statement on Tuesday, June 5, 2018, following a birth in the Ellis County jail on May 17. The mother has accused the jail of ignoring her literal cries for help. The baby died on May 26.

Here is the statement from the Ellis County Sheriff's Office:

"On Saturday, March 10th, 2018, Ellis County Sheriff’s Deputies arrested Shaye Marie Bear for possession of a controlled substance. A quantity of controlled substance was concealed in Bear’s vagina.

Upon entering the jail, Ms. Bear received an extensive medical evaluation. Throughout her time of confinement, Bear received regular medical care and evaluation, including prenatal care. Bear routinely and consistently refused certain medical options which were made available to her.

On Thursday, May 17th, 2018, at a hearing before Judge Cindy Ermatinger, 443rd Judicial District Court, Ms. Bear admitted to a history of using methamphetamine while she was pregnant. She further admitted that she gave birth to a child in the Dallas County jail while she was charged with a felony drug offense in that county.

In response to questioning from Judge Ermatinger, Bear stated that she had received no medical care for her unborn child prior to being incarcerated in the Ellis County Jail. Bear further knew she was pregnant at the time she hid a controlled substance in her vagina, and she admitted that it was dangerous behavior. After she denied Bear’s request for a lower bond, Judge Ermatinger told Bear, “I think that you and I know for sure your baby is safer right now.”

Later that evening, Bear gave birth to a premature infant at the Ellis County Jail. Ms. Bear and Baby Bear were immediately transported to Baylor Scott and White Hospital for continued medical treatment. Baby Bear was later flown to Cooks Children’s Hospital for specialized medical care.

On Saturday, May 26th, 2018, Baby Bear was pronounced deceased by medical staff with Cooks Children’s Hospital. The cause of death is pending the autopsy report.

Multiple witnesses were interviewed regarding the circumstances surrounding the birth of Baby Bear. Ms. Bear routinely displayed antipathy toward her unborn child, and her conduct was noted by many as being detrimental to the life of Baby Bear. The account of events prior to the birth of Baby Bear have been corroborated by jail staff, medical staff and inmates who were housed with Ms. Bear.

In conclusion, we are confident there was no fault by Ellis County jail staff or medical staff."