Nebraska prosecutors drop 2 charges against unlicensed midwife in baby's 2011 death

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BROKEN BOW, Nebraska — Prosecutors have dropped two felony counts against an unlicensed midwife who is still charged with manslaughter and other counts in the 2011 death of a Nebraska newborn.

The Custer County Attorney's office on Thursday dropped charges of negligent child abuse resulting in death and intentional child abuse resulting in death against Judy Jones, 67, of Irene, South Dakota, the Kearney Hub reported ( ). Jones had been arraigned on those charges on Nov. 20.

Prosecutors did not give a reason for dismissing the charges.

Jones still faces charges of manslaughter, practicing without a license and criminal impersonation.

Authorities have said Jones helped deliver a baby in rural Custer County home in September 2011, defying orders prohibiting her from practicing as a midwife in Nebraska and South Dakota.

The infant, Eli Fenske, died shortly after he was born. Investigators say Jones failed to perform follow-up tests after the birth and did not contact a doctor when the child stopped breathing. Doctors told authorities the child had suffered brain damage and was partially brain dead because of a lack of post-birth care.

Investigators said Jones was ordered to stop practicing in Nebraska without a license in 1999, and there are no records that she ever applied for a license. South Dakota authorities issued a similar order.

Information from: Kearney Hub,

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