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Police Drop Manslaughter Charge against Woman Whose Unborn Baby Died after She Was Shot

  • Amanda Casanova

    Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and…

  • 2019 Jul 05

Police have dropped a manslaughter charge against a woman whose unborn baby died after she was shot.

The Alabama woman, Marshae Jones, was five months pregnant when she was involved in a fight with a co-worker. The co-worker allegedly fired a gun at Jones, shooting her five times in the stomach.

The co-worker was not charged for the shooting after a grand jury in Jefferson County found she acted in self-defense. Police, however, charged Jones with manslaughter for the December 2018 fight in Pleasant Grove, Alabama.

“When a five-month-pregnant woman initiates a fight and attacks another person, I believe some responsibility lies with her as to any injury to her unborn child,” Lt. Danny Reid of the Pleasant Grove Police Department, said at the time.

“That child is dependent on its mother to try to keep it from harm, and she shouldn’t seek out unnecessary physical altercations.”

This week, District Attorney Lynneice Washington said she was dropping the case.

“I have determined that it is not in the best interest of justice to pursue prosecution of Ms. Jones on the manslaughter charge for which she was indicted by the grand jury,” she told the media.

“No further legal action will be taken against Ms. Jones in this matter.”

Abortion rights activists had rallied in Jones’ defense, saying Jones was being punished unfairly.

“A pregnant woman was shot in the stomach during a fight. The shooting caused her pregnancy to end. She has been indicted for manslaughter. This is how people — especially women of color — are already being punished and having their pregnancies criminalized,” the National Abortion Federation tweeted in response to Jones' indictment.

Alabama has one of the most strict abortion laws in the country, which bans all abortions, even in cases of rape or incest. The only exemptions to the law are cases where the mother faces a medical emergency.

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