By Clair McFarland, Cowboy State Daily
A former Riverton resident accused of giving birth to a baby boy on the sidewalk of Omaha, Nebraska, and leaving him there in below-freezing temperatures has been transferred to a higher court for felony-level prosecution.
Trinity Shakespeare was charged in February with felony child abuse, a charge punishable by up to three years in prison and $10,000 in fines. Her case was sent Friday to the Douglas County District Court in Nebraska, after a first appearance Thursday in a lower court.
Shakespeare’s newborn son, who is identified in court documents as “B.S.” is being processed for care by the Wind River Intertribal Court in Fremont County, according to KETV News of Omaha.
Both WRITC and the Northern Arapaho Department of Family Services declined Monday to comment on the boy’s status.
Shakespeare and her son are of Northern Arapaho descent.
Under federal law, American Indian babies removed from parental care are to be processed by tribal, not state, DFS organizations.
Witnesses saw Shakespeare give birth on an Omaha sidewalk on Feb. 13, according to court documents released Monday to Cowboy State Daily.
“The mother of the newborn infant left the baby on the sidewalk and ran away from the scene” in 15-degree weather, witnesses told police. The baby was found and taken to the University of Nebraska Medical Center by Omaha fire medics after approximately five minutes.
Police found the mother, Shakespeare, hiding in the backyard of a nearby residence. She was taken to the same hospital as her son.
“The defendant had a hard time keeping her eyes open,” during the ride to the hospital, court documents state, “and smelled strongly of alcoholic beverage.”
Shakespeare told police during an in-hospital interview that she found out she was pregnant in September while incarcerated for a separate incident. She told investigators she drank alcohol at times during her pregnancy, court documents noted, because of “painful” cramps.
Shakespeare also told reportedly told police that she’d smoked marijuana the night prior to her son’s birth, and drank vodka the day of the incident.
She said she remembered “giving birth” and “walking away” from the boy, before being taken to the hospital, court documents state, adding that “she was aware of what was going on at the time and was able to recall specific details about the incident.”
After her stay in the hospital, Shakespeare was booked into the Douglas County Corrections facility.
Her prosecution is ongoing.
Formerly Of Riverton
When Shakespeare lived in Riverton in 2014, she was cited at age 20 for underage consumption of alcohol. According to the Riverton Circuit Court database, she failed to appear for court proceedings.
A warrant was issued, but Shakespeare never returned to court and the warrant – now eight years old – still stands.