Baby Death Case Update

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

A woman who pled guilty in the death of a newborn baby, who medical experts say might never have existed, could be released later Wednesday in a deal offered by prosecutors.

Dianne Tucker pled guilty in May 2001 to the manslaughter of her sister's baby and was sentenced to 15 years in prison.

But post-plea medical evidence showed that the sister, Victoria Bell Banks, could not have been pregnant.

Defense attorneys have claimed Tucker, Banks, and Banks' estranged husband, Medell Banks, Jr., are poor, mentally retarded and were forced into making guilty pleas.

Prosecutors have denied the claims, but they are expected to offer tucker her release in a court hearing Wednesday.

Choctaw County District Attorney Robert D. Keahey could not be reached for comment.

The baby death case gained national attention when a prominent gynecologist, Dr. Michael Steinkampf of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, testified last year that Banks was unable to have a baby in 1999 because her fallopian tubes were tied in 1995 after the birth of her sixth child.


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