TAMPA - Angel Adams has become a household name around the internet and news tabloids because she's the mother of 16 children who demanded the state help with her living situation.
Now her legal team wants to use her last pregnancy as part of her defense in a case where she is charged with battery on a law enforcement officer.
Prosecutors, in contrast, believe that fact will taint the jury into sympathizing with the Tampa resident. Adams claimed police brutalized her by shooting her with a stun gun just a month before she was expected to give birth to her sixteenth child.
Adams, 39, was arrested in May after police arrived at her home on 2114 Grace St. to arrest one of her sons. During a scuffle, several people were hit with blasts from stun guns, including Adams. She was eight months pregnant at the time.
During an evidentiary hearing Thursday, public defender Maria Castiguilio showed Judge Kimberly Fernandez photographs allegedly showing a mark from a stun gun on Adams' pregnant belly.
"That red mark was not there prior to this incident," Castiguilio said. She argued the pictures were important to Adams' defense. "They're being offered to show her pregnancy, how pregnant she was," she said.
Prosecutor Melissa Hill countered by showing photographs of Adams taken around the time of the arrest that suggested a police officer wouldn't have known Adams was pregnant at all.
"If you look at those pictures compared to the ones that defense counsel has provided of her in lingerie, it's prejudicial to the state," Hill contended.
Judge Fernandez wasn't convinced by either side. She opted to withhold judgment on whether to admit the photos until after the trial begins.
"It's really a question for the jury as to who's being 100 percent truthful as to what she looked like on the day," Fernandez said.
Adams' trial is scheduled for Monday.
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