NH mother accused of being injected with heroin while in labor pleads for recovery program
CONCORD — A mother pleaded in court Wednesday, claiming she has no control over her addiction, and should be put in a program rather then back in jail.
Felicia Farruggia, 29, of Concord, is accused of refusing to allow anyone to call 911 while she was in labor, curled up in a ball on a bathroom floor, until she received narcotics, which a friend allegedly supplied and injected her with.
The judge accepted the states' recommendation for bail, holding Farruggia on $15,000 cash bail until she is able to get an attorney.
The attorney claims Farruggia has a serious drug problem, so bad that she would take any drugs available to her. Farruggia denied that claim.
In court, Farruggia pleaded with the judge, not to see her kids, but to receive treatment so that she can take back her opioid-driven life. Farruggia is the mother of six children, all of which are in the care of the Division for Children, Youth, and Families.
"I'm not a hard criminal who goes and has no care or concern for people," Farruggia said at her video arraignment. "I have a drug problem. I'm not going to sit here and say I want to get out so I can see my children because I don't want to see them because I'm ashamed of myself, and I know I'm not a good mother right now."
On the night of the incident, Sept. 15, 2016, Farruggia and her son, L.F., tested positive for methamphetamine, and amphetamine. Farruggia also tested positive for benzodiazepine.
"The father of the child saw what was going on, called 911. The ambulance gets there. The place is such a mess they don't want to work and deliver that child in that residence," the prosecutor said at the arraignment as Farruggia welled up with tears. "The birth of the child was imminent, and it was known that it was imminent."
This incident is not Farruggia's first run in with the law. She was arrested for shoplifting in 2009, and for theft in 2011, where she was given a six month suspended sentence. She was convicted again in 2011 for criminal liability and received a 12-month sentence, six months suspended, six months committed.
She was charged with bail jumping in 2011 when she failed to appear in court, "which indicates she has failed to appear for court appearances in the past to the point she was convicted of such," the prosecutor said.
She was picked up for a parole violation in 2011 where she served 14 days in jail. She was arrested again in 2012 for the sale of a controlled drug, which a judge gave her a 12-month sentence suspended for five years. She violated parole twice in 2013, where she received 12 months committed for the first, and one to two years committed for the second.
Farruggia has a heart condition due to her excessive drug use and had been scheduled for surgery at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center right after the baby was born. Because of the manner in which she gave birth, she never received the surgery, the prosecutor said.
Farruggia denied that she had planned for the baby to be born at Dartmouth-Hitchcock and said there is nothing they would do for her condition because it is not that bad right now.
Farruggia's probable cause hearing on her reckless conduct charge is on March 21 at 8:30 a.m.