BANDON, Ore. — A Coos County grand jury has indicted a Bandon midwife on charges of manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide in the death of an infant delivered last year.
The indictment for Marcene Rebeck, a lay midwife for 30 years, was handed down last week.
The infant was a few days old when she died after a long labor and home birth. The cause of death was listed as septis, an illness in which the body has a severe response to bacteria or other germs.
District Attorney R. Paul Frasier said he would not comment until the July 30 arraignment.
Linda Cummins, the mother of Bethany Reed, the woman who lost the baby, told The World newspaper that she and her daughter have been working with county medical examiner for the past year and the district attorney's office has been reviewing the case since May. Reed now has a 2-month-old daughter.
"We're cooperative members of the community and we don't want to take a position other than to say that we have done what was requested of us and testified before the grand jury," Cummins said.
"We don't wish any ill will toward Marcene," she added.
Rebeck, who owns a coffee shop, runs a Montessori-based school and teaches Jazzercise classes, said she has delivered 300 babies during her career, with only one death and no other major incidents.
Rebeck's friends and supporters plan to protest the indictment and hold a fundraiser to raise money for her defense.
"Marcene is a professional, she does a good job and we don't believe this was her fault," said Brian Kraynik, the father of two preschool children delivered by Rebeck.
Kraynik said he knows Reed and was saddened by her loss. "But we can't lose Marcene," he said.
Information from: The World
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.