Woman Who Was Shot While Pregnant, And Charged In Fetus’ Death, May Avoid Prosecution
An Alabama district attorney says there has been no decision about whether to prosecute a woman who was shot in the stomach during a fight and lost her fetus.
A grand jury indicted 27-year-old Marshae Jones on manslaughter charges. Jones was five months pregnant when 23-year-old Ebony Jemison shot her. Jemison was initially charged with manslaughter, but a Jefferson County grand jury indicted Jones instead after authorities determined she started the fight, and Jemison fired in self-defense.
Pleasant Grove police Lt. Danny Reid says the fetus was “dependent on its mother to try to keep it from harm.”
Women’s rights activists say the case shows Alabama is determined to make pregnant women criminally responsible if they fail to deliver live, healthy babies. Bessemer Cutoff District Attorney Lynneice O. Washington’s office, insists that is not the case.
“Unfortunately, some groups have attempted to tie this case to the anti- abortion law that recently passed by the legislature” read a statement that the Washington’s office released Thursday night about the case that’s garnered national attention.
It goes on to say “this case predates the passage of the legislation and we must point out that the new law played no role in the consideration of the Grand Jury”
Washington’s office says while the grand jury “had its say,” they’re deciding whether to prosecute on manslaughter charges or a lesser charge “or not to prosecute it.”
The statement said it was disheartening “that this tragedy was 100 percent avoidable”.
Washington’s office says all potential felony cases are presented to the grand jury.