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Inmate charged with murder after allegedly punching pregnant medical worker in stomach, killing fetus

Police: Prison inmate Cheri Akil charged after punching pregnant medical worker, killing fetus
Police: Prison inmate Cheri Akil charged after punching pregnant medical worker, killing fetus 01:50

Fort Worth, Texas — Inmate Cheri Akil faces a murder charge after punching a pregnant medical worker's stomach, causing her to lose the baby, the Tarrant County Sheriff's Office said. 

Cheri Akil, 39 Tarrant County Sheriff's Office

CBS Texas' Annie Gimbel and Caroline Vandergriff report that the alleged assault happened on April 12 at John Peter Smith Hospital. Akil, 39, had been arrested two days before for credit card or debit card abuse.

Police said Akil was restrained due to suicidal tendencies. While the medical worker was standing next to her bed, police said, Akil hit her. The reason wasn't clear. 

The victim went to the JPS Trauma Unit for treatment and ultrasound showed her unborn child no longer had a pulse.

Court records show Akil was previously arrested for driving while intoxicated, intent to operate a game room violation and assault causing bodily injury. 

The Tarrant County Sheriff wasn't available for an interview on April 18 about what happened. But his office said the restraints on Akil were put on by JPS staff. 

"At JPS Health Network, the safety and wellness of our team members is our top priority," Jessica Virnoche, the executive director of communications for the JPS Health Network, said in a statement. "JPS takes Workplace Violence incidents very seriously and has processes in place to assess and address environmental risks. Due to individual and patient privacy rules, JPS is not in a position to provide any additional information about this incident at this time."

Akil was moved to a secure area of the hospital, where she'll be kept until she's booked into the Tarrant County Jail.

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