Saturday, 19 October, 2019

Alabama DA won't prosecute woman who was shot, lost fetus

Marshae Jones has been indicted in the death the baby she was pregnant with after another woman shot her in the stomach Marshae Jones has been indicted in the death the baby she was pregnant with after another woman shot her in the stomach
Patty Aguilar | 04 July, 2019, 03:48

Alabama prosecutors have dropped a manslaughter charge against a woman whose unborn baby died after she was shot in the stomach during a fight.

Marshae Jones was arrested last week after a grand jury concluded she intentionally caused the death of her fetus by initiating a fight, knowing she was pregnant.

The grand jury that indicted Jones declined to charge the woman who shot her, Ebony Jemison, because it found she acted in self defense during the December 4 altercation in Pleasant Grove, just west of Birmingham.

"After reviewing the facts of this case and the applicable state law, I have determined that it is not in the best interest of justice to pursue prosecution of Ms. Jones on the misdemeanor charge for which she was indicted by the grand jury".

Jones is free on $50,000 bond, and is due back in court on July 9, when a ruling on her lawyers' motion to dismiss all charges is expected. The charges are "completely unreasonable and unjust" and are based on a "novel legal theory not available or supported under Alabama law", the motion said.

Charges against the alleged shooter had already been dismissed following a failed indictment. "Nothing, nothing, nothing we do today or in the future will change that reality", Washington said.

According to Reid, Jones and Jemison got into an argument over the baby's father.

Police ruled that Ms Jones had started the fight and hit Ms Jemison, then pinned her against a vehicle.

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Police later found Jones suffering from a gunshot wound to her stomach and she was rushed to a local hospital.

While the charges have been dropped, critics say the initial decision to pursue and indictment against Jones was likely influenced by Alabama's "fetal personhood" and the recently passed abortion ban, which is the most restrictive in the nation.

Washington thanked the grand jury for their service and noted that they took to heart the idea that an unborn child is a life and that someone should be held accountable for the loss of it.

Attorney Mark White, who represents Jones, lauded Washington's decision, saying it will "help Marshae continue to heal from this tragic event and work to rebuild her life in a positive and productive way".

Jefferson County Bessemer Cutoff District Attorney Lynneice Washington made the announcement in the unusual case that drew headlines and criticism around the globe. 'We are gratified the District Attorney evaluated the matter and chose not to proceed with a case that was neither reasonable nor just'. "It was the mother of the child who initiated and continued the fight which resulted in the death of her own unborn baby".

"The investigation showed that the only true victim in this was the unborn baby", Reid said at the time. Officers were dispatched to the scene on a report of someone shot but arrived to find that the victim - later identified as Jones - had been driven to Fairfield.

"Pregnancy exclusion" laws in Idaho and many other states outlaw such documents as living wills if the woman involved does not include a stipulation that itself invalidates the will when the woman is pregnant. Jemison has declined to comment but posted on Facebook that she fired a shot into the ground as her hair was being pulled. From Fairfield, Jones was taken to UAB Hospital where she underwent surgery.

Jones' story went viral last week, with people taking to social media to share their outrage over the grand jury decision. "So, don't tell me how I don't appreciate the sensitivity of a woman and the rights of women".

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