An inmate who became pregnant while in a Florida county jail is scheduled to have a hearing on Jan. 24 in which she will request a transfer to house arrest, her attorney said Thursday.
Daisy Link, 28, has been held in the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center in Miami-Dade County since June 2022. On Christmas Day, she called her family members from jail and told them she was almost four months pregnant, according to her sister, Crystal Barreto.
The Miami-Dade Corrections and Rehabilitation Department told NBC News last week that it had confirmed Link’s pregnancy after a thorough medical exam, but declined to comment on who may have impregnated her.
Link is awaiting trial on a charge of second-degree murder. Her attorney, Marlene Montaner, said the charge stemmed from a domestic violence incident during which Link feared for her life. She has been held without bond at the correctional center, which houses both male and female inmates, and she has no trial date set yet.
In a motion filed earlier this week, Montaner cited the “extraordinary circumstances” of the pregnancy and asked the judge to reconsider a previous order denying Link’s pretrial release, and instead allow her to be under home confinement with electronic monitoring.
“She is in fear, and I am in fear for the baby,” Montaner said in a phone interview. “Pregnancy is stressful, but a pregnancy in jail takes a different form, and the stress that she’s having is incredible.”
Montaner added that Link said she has been receiving threats from inmates and from corrections staff, who may fear that they could lose their jobs for allowing a pregnancy to occur in jail.
The circumstances surrounding Link’s pregnancy are unclear. Montaner said conjugal visits are not allowed in Florida and Barreto said that Link does not feel comfortable disclosing details of her pregnancy over the jail’s recorded phone lines.
A spokesman for Miami-Dade Corrections and Rehabilitation said last week in an email that it had launched an investigation into Link’s pregnancy.
“While there is no evidence of sexual battery against our inmate at this time, the circumstances surrounding the pregnancy are currently under active investigation,” the spokesman said, adding that pregnant inmates receive “timely and appropriate prenatal care.”
The department has repeatedly declined to provide any additional information.
Montaner said Link’s murder charge arose from a situation involving an abusive partner. She shared photos with NBC News that appear to show Link with blood running down her shoulder from her head, which Montaner said was the result of abuse her client had endured days before she fired a weapon in June 2022.
According to an arrest affidavit for Link, the man who was killed had a single gunshot wound to his right leg. The affidavit says that Link told investigators, “I didn’t mean to shoot him; I was just trying to scare him.”
Link said that she and the man had a verbal argument earlier and that he then left the residence, per the affidavit.
“The defendant explained that she armed herself with a firearm and awaited the victim’s return,” it says. When the man came back, the two got into another argument, and the man allegedly said he would lock Link out of the house, Link told investigators.
The man then began “running to the residence when she subsequently shot” him, the affidavit says.
Her attorney said Link was outside and fired a single shot in the dark “out of fear.”
“She was in fear for her life,” Montaner said. “Anytime you’re a victim and somebody has busted your head open on numerous occasions, the truth is that you’re scared.”
Link is also charged with battery by a detainee on a visitor or other detainee in addition to the charge of second-degree murder, jail records show. An arrest affidavit for that charge describes a “physical altercation” in March between Link and another female inmate that did not result in any injuries.
Barreto said she wants immediate answers from corrections officials about how her sister became pregnant while in custody.
“Honestly, I’m outraged,” she said. “I have days that I can’t even sleep. I’m up thinking about my sister all night.”