Sheriff defends birth at Detroit-area jail ‘100 percent’

An image from surveillance video shows Jessica Preston in the hallway of the Macomb County jail. (WDIV)

MOUNT CLEMENS, Mich. (AP) — A woman who was in a suburban Detroit jail on a driving offense says she gave birth in a cell after medical staff refused to take her to a hospital.

Jessica Preston tells TV station WDIV that she gave birth on a dirty cell floor nine months ago while in the Macomb County jail. Her son, Elijha, weighed less than 5 pounds and was born a month early.

Preston and her family say she should have been taken to a nearby hospital before the birth. But Sheriff Anthony Wickersham tells The Associated Press that he’s “100 percent” satisfied with how jail and medical staff handled the situation. Video shows staff present at the delivery.

Wickersham says Preston was moved to a medical unit at the jail after reporting contractions.