Indian American Man, Who Went Absconding for 9 Years, to Have Plea Hearing in Forced Abortion Case
Manishkumar Patel was absconding for nine years before being arrested near Canada border in 2017.
An Indian American man accused of fetal homicide in 2007 in Wisconsin will have a plea deal hearing on Aug. 1. Manish Kumar Patel, who had been missing for nine years after jumping bail, was arrested near the Canada Border on Jan. 20, 2017. He is being held on $50 million cash bail for feeding an abortion drug mixed in a smoothie to his then girlfriend.
A jury trial was earlier scheduled for June 11 but that has been taken off the calendar, according to reports.
Patel, 43, faces seven felony charges, including first-degree intentional homicide of an unborn child, stalking, burglary, and jumping bail. If found guilty of all charges, Patel will face a maximum prison sentence of up to 100 years.
He allegedly committed the crime in 2007 by diluting the drug in the woman’s smoothie. She did not ingest the drink but miscarried a few weeks later, authorities were quoted as saying by Fox11. Patel and his girlfriend, Darshana Patel (both are not related), had been in a relationship since 2001. In 2004, they had a son together. In 2006, Darshana became pregnant again but miscarried. The businessman had denied that the child was his. In 2007, she became pregnant again and noticed how attentive Manish was. Manish was married to another woman at the time.
Once she noticed a powder on the rim of a smoothie cup, which Manish bought for her. Her doctor soon detected problems with her hormone levels, which is when Darshana sent the smoothie cup for testing. While waiting for a kit to test the substance, she miscarried. The lab test later confirmed the presence of the abortion pill, the complaint said.
She obtained a restraining order against Patel on Nov. 13, 2017. The police also found mifepristone, or RU-486, the abortion drug, in his apartment. The investigators believed that he obtained the drug from India since it is a controlled substance in the United States and can be taken only at the doctor’s office.
He had said that he gave her the pill once but did not give any more details. Charges were filed against him in 2007, following which he absconded and forfeited a $750,000 cash bond. He faces 23 bail jumping charges relating to the missed court dates. An Aug. 8 hearing is scheduled on those counts.
When he was arrested in January 2017, officials in Wisconsin who worked on the case responded to his arrest saying he can finally be brought to justice.
“Happy for ourselves and all the work we put in. And happy for the victim because he can be brought back here, and put to justice for what he did,” Outagamie County Staff Sergeant Ryan Carpenter said, according to an earlier Fox11 report. “It was a very unique case, it still remains a very unique case,” he said.
In 2007, Patel had posted bail with $750,000 after his arrest, which had also surprised his attorney at the time since his net worth was $400,000. He had received the money from three in-laws and six friends. The in-laws and the friends had approached the court about getting back the money they had fronted him.
Thomas Zoesch, Manish’s defense attorney at the time, told Fox11, “[I called the jail and said] ‘I’m down here and we have the bail money.’ They said, ‘What money?’ [I said,] ‘$750,000’ and they were like ‘what?!'”
Zoesch said that he was shocked when Manish fled. Zoesch later withdrew from being Manish’s attorney.
“It got to be Christmas Day, and the report center was closed, or he didn’t have to report. And he just poof, disappeared,” Zoesch said.
He was arrested by the U.S. Border Patrol in Malone, New York, near the Canada Border on Jan. 20, 2017. He was extradited to Wisconsin after the U.S. Border Patrol completed its investigation.