An Alabama woman who was five months pregnant when her unborn baby was killed in a shooting has been indicted in the death of the fetus.
On June 26, Marshae Jones (above left), 27, was indicted by a Jefferson County grand jury on a manslaughter charge, reported AL.com.
While Jones was not the person who actually pulled the trigger, authorities say her unborn baby girl was fatally shot after she initiated a fight with 23-year-old Ebony Jemison (above right). Although Jemison was initially charged with manslaughter after the shooting, the charge was eventually dismissed after the grand jury failed to indict her.
According to Pleasant Grove Police Lt. Danny Reid, the shooting took place on Dec. 4, 2018, outside Dollar General.
Reid said Jones started the fight over the unborn baby’s father. Police believe Jones attacked Jemison, who was forced to defend herself with a gun.
"Let’s not lose sight that the unborn baby is the victim here,’’ Reid told AL.com. “She had no choice in being brought unnecessarily into a fight where she was relying on her mother for protection."
Reid also said the fetus was "dependent on its mother to try to keep it from harm, and she shouldn’t seek out unnecessary physical altercations.”
After the shooting, Jones, who was shot in the stomach, was taken from Fairfield to UAB Hospital where her unborn baby was pronounced dead.
“The investigation showed that the only true victim in this was the unborn baby,’’ Reid said. “It was the mother of the child who initiated and continued the fight which resulted in the death of her own unborn baby.”
Jones will be transferred to the Jefferson County Jail where she will be held on $50,000 bond.
Although police say Jones was at fault for causing the fight, The Yellowhammer Fund, a member of the National Network of Abortion Funds which helps women access abortion services, believes this is an unfair attack on Jones.
“The state of Alabama has proven yet again that the moment a person becomes pregnant their sole responsibility is to produce a live, healthy baby and that it considers any action a pregnant person takes that might impede in that live birth to be a criminal act,’’ Executive Director Amanda Reyes said in the statement released after Jones’ indictment.
“Today, Marshae Jones is being charged with manslaughter for being pregnant and getting shot while engaging in an altercation with a person who had a gun. Tomorrow, it will be another black woman, maybe for having a drink while pregnant. And after that, another, for not obtaining adequate prenatal care,” the statement added. “We commit ourselves to making sure that Marshae is released from jail on bond, assisting with her legal representation, and working to ensure that she gets justice for the multiple attacks that she has endured.”
Other women on Twitter criticized the state of Alabama, which recently passed an abortion ban, for holding Jones accountable for the death of her fetus.
(Photo: Pleasant Grove Police Department)