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Pregnant woman accused of murder seeks release from jail at request of unborn child

Natalia Harrell allegedly shot and killed Gladys Yvette Borcela after the women went out partying. (Booking photo: Miami-Dade County Jail)

Natalia Harrell allegedly shot and killed Gladys Yvette Borcela after the women went out partying. (Booking photo: Miami-Dade County Jail)

An attorney for a pregnant murder defendant argues that she should be released from the custody of the Miami-Dade jail system because officials failed to provide her prenatal care. In this filing for a writ of habeas corpus, he also argued for release based on prosecutors not charging the unborn child. Technically, however, it is the fetus making this filing, titled, “Petitioner unborn child’s writ of habeas corpus petition.”

“Respondents have failed or refused to take UNBORN CHILD to the attending outside OB-GYN physician at Jackson Hospital. The last visit UNBORN CHILD had with the attending OB-GYN physician was in October, 2022,” stated the filing by attorney William M. Norris. “There has been a lack of reasonable and necessary prenatal care for the UNBORN CHILD by Respondents. In fact, Respondents have even failed to bring the prescribed vitamins and nutritional drinks to UNBORN CHILD’s mother, Ms. Harrell.”

Defendant Natalia Harrell, 24, shot and killed Gladys Yvette Borcela, 28, early July 23, 2022, after partying, according to cops in Miami, Florida. Norris said Harrell was six weeks pregnant at the time. Now, eight months in development, the baby’s due date is unclear because no doctor has checked on the mother since the fall.

“It is a guess at this point whether UNBORN CHILD will enter the world in 4 weeks or three weeks or less,” Norris wrote.

He said that the unborn child was in danger because Harrell was locked up with other people who were there because they have been disciplined or under investigation for fighting, breaking the law, or violating the prison rules.

“Further, the UNBORN CHILD has not been charged with a criminal offense by Respondents or the Miami Dade State Attorney’s Office, yet Respondents have UNBORN CHILD in a detention center known as TGK [Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center] in Miami Dade County, Florida,” he wrote.

“Miami-Dade County Corrections and Rehabilitation partners with Jackson Health System to provide healthcare to the inmates in our custody, and we are committed to ensuring all inmates receive professional, timely medical care and all appropriate treatment,” the Miami-Dade County Corrections and Rehabilitation Department said in a statement to Law&Crime. “We are conducting a full review of the health services offered and received to ensure that all pre-natal care being provided in our custody is appropriate.”

Police previously said Harrell and a second woman were out partying the night of July 22, 2022, at the Clevelander South Beach Hotel and Bar. They started hanging out with a trio of men, and the second woman then called over Borcela, a friend. According to authorities, the guys said that things seemed friend among three women, but Harrell allegedly texted the second woman a complaint about Borcela.

“Victim Borcela began to drink and dance which according to [a witness], upset Suspect Harrell,” police said. “Suspect Harrell began to text [the other woman] telling her to ‘get her girl under control.’”

When the restaurant was closing, they got into an Uber, but the situation escalated. Harrell and Borcela argued, police said.

“Shortly after boarding, Victim Borcela and Suspect Harrell started bickering and calling each other names,” cops said. Harrell ended up in the front of the Uber facing the other passengers. She allegedly shouted, “You don’t want this. You don’t want me to go in my purse.” One of the witnesses said she took out a gun from that purse and fired a single shot at Borcela, striking her.

In his new filing, Norris claimed the shooting was a matter of self-defense. Harrell was unable to escape because she was confined in the moving Uber, he said.

“The security camera video shows that after Ms. Harrell leaped from the third row of seats and over the second row of seats in the Uber vehicle, Gladys Yvette Borcela continued to threatened Ms. Harrell with physical bodily injury. Ms. Harrell was in fear of her life and the life of her unborn child,” he said.

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