The Mountain Eagle
Whitesburg KY

Judge rules woman is in contempt for pregnancy

A western Kentucky judge has held a woman in contempt for becoming pregnant while incarcerated before her trial on a manslaughter charge.

Marshall County Circuit Judge Dennis Foust ruled that 20-year-old Tiffany Pittman violated court orders late last year while in jail before facing a jury on Dec. 7. Pittman was sentenced to 15 years in prison manslaughter the death of Stephen J. “Jimmy” Harper. Harper died Aug. 15, 2011 in a wreck on U.S. 68 in Marshall County.

Foust on July 19 denied shock probation in the case and tacked on the contempt of court ruling.

The Paducah Sun reported that Pittman’s attorney, James Jameson, told Foust the stress of going to trial and possibly spending the rest of her life in jail pushed Pittman to break the rules and see her boyfriend when she left the jail for a mental health appointment in mid- November. She said she did not intend to get pregnant.

Commonwealth’s Attorney Mark Blakenship asked Foust to tack more time onto her sentence or order her to reimburse the commonwealth for her medical expenses for getting pregnant.

Foust did not immediately issue a punishment for the contempt citation, but added he would do so soon in a written order.

“I will not lie to you, I am torn,” he said.

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