Incarcerated pregnant inmate Vickilyn Manglona Teregeyo says she is not asking for compassionate release for her own convenience.
In a response submitted by her lawyer, Richard Miller, he said Tuesday that Teregeyo is making the request in the best interest of the daughter she is about to give birth to, as well as her own health and safety in the period immediately preceding and following labor.
“She is a mother who doesn’t want to be forcibly separated from her new daughter within hours of giving birth. Reincarceration after her release from the hospital would entirely separate her and her daughter during the first crucial weeks of the newborn’s life. That cannot be a healthy thing psychologically for the mother and developmentally for the child,” said Miller.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office, which had opposed Teregeyo’s request for compassionate release and modification of her sentence, had alleged that methamphetamine was found inside Teregeyo’s jail cell on March 27, 2022. Miller asks that the government present “this evidence to the defense as soon as possible.”
In relation to Teregeyo’s 2018 case in Guam, Millers says that “the circumstances today are markedly different. …There, Vickilyn was granted pretrial release without restrictive conditions.” Now however, Teregeyo is already sentenced.
Miller added that if the U.S. District Court for the NMI releases her from the Department of Corrections, “she will go straight into home detention with electronic home monitoring. Her movements will be closely monitored within a house that the Probation Office has already inspected, and her access to others will be severely restricted. If Vickilyn were in [Federal] Bureau of Prisons custody, she would have recourse to programs that would allow her and the baby to be in contact. Instead she’s caught in a Catch-22, where neither the Bureau nor the U.S. Marshal nor DOC has authority to assist. The extent to which she falls through the cracks of the system were not apparent at the time she was sentenced last month. They are woefully visible now.”
Yesterday, April 27, Wednesday, was the date set for Teregeyo’s hearing, but is now rescheduled to Friday, May 6, at 9am in the U.S. District Court of the NMI.