Woman In Failed Self-Abortion Appears In Court

Posted at 6:05 PM, Oct 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-18 20:14:47-04

The woman accused of attempting to self-abort her unborn baby using a coat hanger, Anna Yocca, appeared in court in hopes that the charges against her could be dropped. 

Yocca, 32, was arrested in December of 2015. At the time, police said Yocca used the coat hanger to cause significant damage to the child's eyes, lungs, and heart.

On Tuesday, it was reported that the child, named Leo, had been adopted and was living out of state with his adoptive parents. 

Yocca was initially charged with attempted murder, but that charge was later dropped to aggravated assault.

On Tuesday, Yocca's attorney argued in court she has been wrongly charged with a crime that doesn't fit the situation, while the prosecution tried to reaffirm to the judge why charges were filed. 

"It's just the state prosecuting a criminal act in accordance with the law that existed at the time that it was committed," Hugh Ammerman, Rutherford County assistant district attorney, said. 

Yocca's attorney Gerald Melton argued that the law Yocca was accused of breaking only applies to parents who use drugs, putting their children in danger.

"Judge, it's just not right," Melton said in court. "This indictment should be dismissed, and this woman who's been incarcerated now for almost a year should be released." 

The judge issued no decision on Tuesday, instead giving both sides time to write responses to the motion to dismiss the charges.