Woman sues county after baby dies in jail

by: Tom Jones Updated:


CLAYTON COUNTY, Ga. - The woman whose baby died after she gave birth in jail has filed a lawsuit against Clayton County and the Clayton County Sheriff.

Deshawn Balka, 25, says a lack of adequate medical care and jail staff's lack of response to her pleas for help is why she is filing the suit.

"I wish and I pray that I would have gotten the care that I requested," she told Channel 2's Tom Jones minutes after filing the suit. "It's wrong. All the way around. It’s completely wrong."

Balka was five and a half months pregnant when she prematurely delivered the baby boy in the toilet of her jail cell at the Clayton County jail in April.

The suit alleges Balka began calling for help after she began experiencing severe cramping at 1:15 a.m. 

"No one showed up however until about 4:15 (a.m.) after the baby had fallen into the toilet," her attorney Michael Mills said.

Balka said it took between five and 10 minutes for jail staff to arrive after she delivered the child.

"Had the baby arrived at the hospital just a little while earlier the baby would be here with us today," attorney Rod Dixon said.

Sheriff Kem Kimbrough didn't want to comment on pending litigation.

But back in April, he said his staff got to Balka's cell as quickly as possible and he says she received adequate medical care.

"My records show that she saw a physician two days before this incident," he said then.   Balka says this tragedy has turned her life upside down. "I just want to cry every day," she said.

Balka was in jail on a probation violation for marijuana possession but her family says she never should have been arrested.

They said she called her parole officer and told him she was in the hospital and couldn't make an appointment. They said a warrant was issued for her arrest anyway. The warrant was later dismissed.

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