Ultrasound, Fetus, Baby,
Representation. MedicalPrudens/Pixabay


  • The inmate was hospitalized for suicidal tendencies
  • Aside from the murder charge, Cheri Akil is facing credit card abuse and other misdemeanor cases
  • The John Peter Smith Hospital condemned the violence against their worker

An inmate from Tarrant County, North Texas, is facing a murder charge after allegedly assaulting a pregnant medical worker while being treated at a nearby hospital, killing her unborn baby in the process.

Authorities say that the incident happened on April 12, 12:20 p.m. local time at John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth, where the inmate, identified as 39-year-old Cheri Akil, was being treated for suicidal tendencies.

The pregnant medical worker was standing next to Akil's bed, who was being restrained for potential suicide, when she was punched in the stomach unprovoked. The medical worker was immediately taken to the hospital's trauma unit where her ultrasound showed that her baby no longer had a heartbeat, NBC News reported.

"An ultrasound was performed and it was determined that the unborn child no longer had a pulse," the Tarrant County sheriff's office said in a statement.

Akil was originally arrested on several charges, including two counts of credit or debit card abuse on April 10. The bond for temporary release was set at $1,500 for each count, data from the Tarrant County Sheriff's Office showed.

She was also charged on April 12 with driving while intoxicated and knowingly operating a game room.

In a statement, Jessica Virnoche, executive director of communications at JPS Health Network, condemned the violence towards their worker, saying that it had no place in their hospital.

However, she did not provide further information on the incident.

"At JPS Health Network, the safety and wellness of our team members is our top priority," Virnoche said in a statement published by CBS News.

"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."

Kathy Lowthorp, the defense attorney assigned to Akil's case, said that she currently has no information on any evidence against her client. Although a homicide charge related to the death of a fetus isn't uncommon, the lawyer says the charge can still change.

"It's been handled more than one way," Lowthorp told NBC News.

Akil is currently being held in a secure area within the hospital and would be transferred to the Tarrant County Jail as soon as possible.

Cheri Akil
The inmate, 39-year-old Cheri Akil, will face murder charge. Tarrant County Sheriff's Office