COOSA COUNTY, Ala. (WIAT) — An Alabama sheriff says a capital murder suspect, who got pregnant in custody, conspired with a male inmate to conceive a child in hopes that it would impact her case.
Latoni Daniel, 27, recently gave birth to a baby boy after it was learned that she was pregnant at the Coosa County Detention Center.
Daniel is charged with capital murder in the deadly robbery of 87-year-old Thomas Virgil Chandler in December 2017.
Coosa County Sheriff Michael Howell and Assistant District Attorney Joseph Ficquette addressed the investigation for the first time in a news conference Wednesday. Both said they waited for progress in the state investigation until addressing the allegations.
“Allegations that Daniel was raped while in the Coosa County jail are completely untrue and fabricated. My office chose to have these allegations investigated independently by the State Bureau of Investigation,” said Howell.
Howell said investigators learned that Daniel hoped to get pregnant.
“Other inmates at the Coosa County jail came forward and notified us that she had conspired with a male inmate worker Danny Williams to get pregnant,” said Howell.
Daniel does not have a bond on a capital murder charge and the sheriff believes she was attempting to get a reduced or medical bond.
“It was learned that Daniel conspired to become pregnant so that she may gain leniency in her criminal case, specifically that she may be given a bond on her capital murder case,” Howell said.
Investigators said they interviewed Danny Lee Williams, 53, who said the encounter was consensual. Williams has been moved to another facility and is a state inmate for the Department of Corrections. Howell said he did work around the facility during his stint at the facility.
Officials declined to take questions, citing the ongoing investigation. It is unclear how Williams gained access to Daniel.
Daniel’s civil attorney, Mickey McDermott, previously told CBS 42 that Alabama law doesn’t allow inmates to give consent.
Wednesday, McDermott said his client does not have any recollection of a consensual sexual encounter. He also questioned how the two inmates were allowed to have contact.
McDermott plans to meet with the SBI next week and said none of Daniel’s attorneys were present when she was questioned.
Daniel’s brother said family members planned to care for the child.
It is unclear when Daniel’s capital murder case will go to trial. LaDaniel Tuck, 28, is also charged with capital murder. Tuck and Daniel were in a relationship at the time of the deadly robbery that ended in Chandler’s death.
During Wednesday’s news conference Ficquette said prosecutors will continue to seek justice for Chandler’s family.
“We clearly know who the victim, in this case, is, that is Mr. Virgil Chandler, Ficquette said. “He manned the wall during the Korean conflict, we will not forget his service, and his service and his memory will guide us in this prosecution.”
After giving birth, Daniel was moved to the Shelby County Detention Center, where she remains without a bond.
The investigation into what happened continues. Stay with CBS 42 for updates.