FLORENCE, Ala. (WHNT) – A Lauderdale County woman could be facing life in prison in connection with the death of her stillborn baby.
It’s the first such case of child endangerment involving a death that Lauderdale County prosecutors have had to handle since state legislation was passed.
According to court records, Rachel Dianne Hanback, 29, was recently indicted by a grand jury for chemical endangerment of a child.
Prosecutors say Hanback’s son was stillborn on May 27, 2012. Court records indicate an autopsy showed the child had methamphetamine and Valium in his system.
District Attorney Chris Connolly says the indictment was handed down due to the fact that Hanback exposed, ingested or inhaled the drugs while the child was still in her womb.
“We want to try and help that mother who may be a drug addict and be pregnant. We want to try and help her get treatment and get her life together,” said Connolly. “But when you kill a child through your drug use, we are no longer interested in helping you. We think you should be punished for that.”
The Alabama Supreme Court has ruled that an unborn infant is still considered a child, and is protected by the chemical endangerment statue.
If convicted, Rachel Dianne Hanback could face 10 years to life in prison.
She is scheduled to be arraigned on July 31st.
She remains in the Lauderdale County Detention Center on a $50,000 bond.