Mother tries to remove baby's extra finger by herself - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Mother tries to remove baby's extra finger by herself

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (AP) - An Austintown woman who admitted she tried to remove an extra finger from her infant son's hand by tying it off with string has been allowed to remain free on bond during a presentencing investigation.

Judge Robert Lisotto could sentence Christyanna Uphole, 22, to up to six months in the county jail and fine her up to $1,000 for the first-degree misdemeanor. He also could place her on probation.

She pleaded guilty last Thursday to child endangering.

Uphole was not criminally indicted by a county grand jury because she opted to plead guilty to a prosecutor's bill of information, said Robert Andrews, assistant prosecutor.

The child was born with an extra finger protruding from his right pinkie.

Uphole had apparently been told by a doctor that the extra appendage needed to be surgically removed.

Instead, Uphole tried to do it herself by tying a piece of string or sewing thread tightly around the baby's extra finger in February. The baby's grandmother notified authorities of what happened after she noticed damage to the baby's finger.

Detectives said that when they went to the home to investigate, they found Uphole feeding the 1-month-old infant, whose finger was red and cut.

"It was a bad decision," defense attorney Douglas King said of Uphole's unsuccessful attempt to remove the extra finger. He said Uphole did not have the money to have the finger properly removed through surgery.

"I truly believe that, as strange as it may seem, she honestly felt she was doing the best thing," King said. "It was bad judgment."

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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