Utah Midwife Sentenced to Jail After Premature Infant Dies in Her Care

Harriet Sokmensuer
Utah Midwife Sentenced to Jail After Premature Infant Dies in Her Care

A Utah midwife found guilty in the death of a newborn twin in her care has been sentenced to jail and ordered to never professionally help deliver another child, PEOPLE confirms.

Vickie Sorensen was sentenced on Tuesday to six months behind bars for second-degree felony manslaughter, a Salt Lake City court official tells PEOPLE.

In October, Sorensen was found guilty by a Salt Lake City jury for the felony charge, in addition to one misdemeanor reckless endangerment charge, after the 2012 death of the infant, according to the court official.

Prosecutors say the 57-year-old midwife reassured the parents that she could deliver their twin babies safely at a south Utah birth center. However, when one child was born purple and unable to breathe, Sorensen tried to treat him with ill-fitting equipment and out-of-date techniques — instead of immediately going to the hospital, the St. George Spectrum reports.

As Sorensen performed an outdated form of CPR on the infant, the mother, who was still in labor with the second twin, was transported by ambulance to a local hospital, according to the Spectrum.

Shortly after arriving, the first baby was pronounced dead with the second being delivered by cesarian section.

The child, who was born approximately two months early, died in 2012. Sorenson was arrested in 2014, according to the paper.

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Her trial lasted 10 days and, according to the Spectrum, more than 30 of her friends and family filled the courtroom in Cedar City, Utah.

In her defense, Sorensen told the Fifth District Court judge that she delivered thousands of babies, including twins, throughout her career, and she blamed snowy roads for not going to the hospital, the Salt Lake Tribune reports.

Sorensen also claimed she initially thought the expecting mother was experiencing uterus cramps, not labor pains.

She has been ordered to never again work as a midwife. Her attorney could not be reached for comment.