A Wisconsin man found guilty of trying to kill his pregnant girlfriend’s unborn child by slipping an abortion-inducing drug into her smoothie has been given a sentence of 22 years in prison, PEOPLE confirms.
The woman did not drink the beverage, handed to her by 45-year-old Manishkumar Patel, after watching him “frantically” stir the contents as she waited for him in the car outside an Appleton ice cream shop in 2007, according to a criminal complaint obtained by the Appleton Post-Crescent.
The woman then noticed a powder in the smoothie and went into the shop where she was told that employees did not add any powder to her drink, according to the complaint.
But the woman eventually sent a sample of the substance for testing, which found evidence of the drug RU486, said District Attorney Melinda Tempelis in Outagamie County court, reports Green Bay TV station WLUK.
“RU486 is an abortion drug. It is not the morning-after pill, it cannot be dispensed by general doctors or prescribed or available through pharmacy,” said Tempelis, according to the station.
After a search of Patel’s home found an envelope containing the pills, “the defendant indicated that he had it sent to him from a friend in India when he didn’t want to have any more children,” Tempelis said.
• Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Click here to get breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases in the True Crime Newsletter.
Patel was convicted in August of attempted first-degree intentional homicide of an unborn child, according to Milwaukee TV station WITI.
At his sentencing on Tuesday, Patel admitted acquiring the drug and giving it to his pregnant girlfriend — but he contended he did so because another child born to the couple had been diagnosed with a long-term medical condition, according to the Post-Crescent.
“I was convinced my unborn child would suffer the same fate,” he said. “This did not excuse what I did.”
He added: “I have had plenty of time to think about what I did. I have no excuse or explanation for my actions.”
After being charged in the case in 2007, Patel skipped out on a $750,000 bond and became a fugitive until his 2017 arrest in New York. He claimed that he’d left for India to visit his ailing father whom he feared was dying, WLUK reports.
In court Tuesday, he said, “I made the decision to return, even though I knew it would cost me my freedom,” according to the Post-Crescent.
Defense attorney Chadwick Kaehne said Patel didn’t want him to excuse what he’d done but rather asked him to emphasize his client’s fear that a second child with the woman — who later miscarried — might see a repeat of their first son’s medical condition, the newspaper reports.
“He knows what he did was wrong,” Kaehne said, the Post-Crescent reports.
Patel’s prison sentence includes an additional four years of extended supervision ordered by Judge John Des Jardins.
According to the Post-Crescent, Jardins said, “A steep price has to be paid for someone who engages in this type of behavior.”