Woman jailed in purse snatching gives birth

| Thursday, Dec. 19, 2013, 10:15 p.m.

A Fayette County woman who is awaiting trial in the mugging of an elderly woman who later died wanted to get out of jail to give birth.

But she delivered the baby before a hearing could be held on her request.

Jenna Shay Boyd, 26, of North Union was scheduled for a hearing on Friday on whether her $100,000 bond would be reduced so she could leave jail and have her personal physician deliver her baby.

The hearing was postponed when she gave birth to a boy on Wednesday, according to her attorney, Thomas Shaffer of Uniontown. The father of the newborn boy advised Shaffer the baby arrived four weeks early and Boyd was to be returned to jail on Thursday, the attorney said.

The birth delayed the mother's sentencing on drug and theft charges, as well.

Boyd and her sister, Brittany Boyd, 24, are accused of robbing Mary Margaret Yourchik, 82, of her purse on March 22, when Yourchik suffered a broken hip. During her recovery, Yourchik had a stroke and was placed in a nursing home.

Yourchik died on Nov. 25. The coroner and district attorney are reviewing her medical records before deciding how to proceed in the case against the Boyds, who are charged only with offenses related to the purse snatching.

Shaffer said he will continue to seek Jenna Boyd's release to help the father care for the child.

“Being that there is no greater love than a mother for a child, I will do all in my power to petition the court to lower her bail so that she can care for her child,” Shaffer said.

Boyd has two other children, ages 2 and 18 months, according to the petition for bond reduction.

Senior Judge Gerald Solomon did not set a new date for the bond hearing.

The baby's early arrival forced the rescheduling of two other hearings involving Boyd. She was to be sentenced on Thursday on drug and retail theft charges. On Friday, Solomon was to hold a hearing on Shaffer's petition seeking dismissal of all charges connected to the purse snatching.

New hearing dates were not set.

Jenna Boyd was out on $25,000 bond in the mugging case when police accused her of failing to pay for DVDs on July 2 at the South Union Wal-Mart and biting a security officer who confronted her. Bond was raised to $100,000 when police charged her with assault and retail theft.

In the March 22 case, police said, Brittany Boyd took Yourchik's purse as Yourchik pushed a shopping cart through the parking lot of the South Union Wal-Mart and then shoved the woman to the ground, breaking her hip in three places. Jenna Boyd was waiting in a nearby car, and the sisters fled with three children in the back of their car, according to police.

Brittany Boyd is charged with aggravated assault, robbery, child endangerment, simple assault, theft and criminal conspiracy. Jenna Boyd is charged with theft, child endangerment, conspiracy and unsworn falsification.

Police who went to Jenna Boyd's home after the mugging found eight potted marijuana plants in a bedroom closet. She has pleaded guilty to possession of a small amount of marijuana for personal use.

Liz Zemba is a reporter for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-601-2166 or lzemba@tribweb.com.

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