A National Guard veteran jailed in Alabama for 17 months on murder charges is due to give birth in the next few weeks — but she’s not sure how she got pregnant.
Latoni Daniel has been held without bond for nearly a year and a half after she was charged Dec. 5, 2017, with capital murder in the robbery and fatal shooting of 87-year-old Thomas Virgil Chandler, and her family said she’s eight months pregnant, reported AL.com.
“She wasn’t pregnant when she went to jail,” said Terrell Ransaw, the woman’s brother.
The 26-year-old Daniel is accused of being the getaway driver in the murder, which police said was committed by the woman’s boyfriend at the time.
Daniel has told her attorney and relatives that she has no memory of a sexual encounter in jail, and her attorney believes she was raped in the Coosa County Jail, possibly after taking legally prescribed sedatives to treat a seizure disorder.
Ransaw said he’s not sure why his sister has been sedated, because she never had seizures before she was jailed.
Jeff Willis, the district attorney in Coosa County, has said Daniel’s pregnancy is under investigation, but her attorney and family members said they haven’t heard any updates on the case.
“A crime is a crime, regardless of who it happens to,” Ransaw said. “She’s giving birth to a child she didn’t plan to have. Nobody asks to be raped or drugged. Just because a person is locked up doesn’t mean they’re a bad person or did the crime you say they did.”
Ransaw said the baby boy will stay with his grandmother, and he will provide financial support while his sister serves a possible prison term — and even the possibility of a death sentence.
“One thing she wasn’t going to do was have an abortion,” Ransaw said. “A lot of people would probably consider giving the baby up for adoption or having an abortion. She believes it’s a blessing from God — no matter the situation.”
The Alexander City woman was honorably discharged from the Army National Guard, and the only thing on her prior criminal record is a 2013 arrest on a theft charge, but a grand jury declined to indict her.
Ransaw said he sympathizes with the slain man’s family, but he pointed out his sister had not been convicted and deserved a fair investigation of her mysterious pregnancy while in county custody.
“Two wrongs don’t make a right,” he said. “If this was your daughter who got pregnant in jail, how would you feel? Instead of looking down on us, put yourself in my family’s shoes. Treat everybody fairly. We just want a fair investigation.”