JEFFERSON COUNTY, Ala. (WBRC) - A pregnant woman who lost her unborn child after being shot in a parking lot last December, is now charged with manslaughter.
27-year-old Marshae Jones was indicted by a Jefferson County grand jury and booked into the Jefferson County Jail on Wednesday. She bonded out the following afternoon.
Jones was five months pregnant when she got into a fight with another woman in the parking lot of a Pleasant Grove shopping center. The woman pulled out a gun and shot Jones, killing her unborn baby.
A grand jury decided not to indict the woman who allegedly shot Jones. The charges against her have been dropped and instead Jones is now facing a manslaughter charge for the death of her unborn child.
Police say the 27-year-old instigated the fight and that the woman shot Jones in self-defense.
"It's a very strange set of facts, but if that is the case then by definition she could have been acting recklessly, which would lead to a manslaughter charge,” Roger Appell, a local attorney who’s not associated with the case said. Appell says he's never heard of a case like this before. "The facts must have been that the woman that shot her thought that she was in imminent danger of herself being killed or seriously injured before she fired the fatal shot,” Appell said.
The case is gaining national attention from a number of reproductive rights groups. On Facebook, the ACLU of Alabama says the case is another example of how Alabama is moving to criminalize pregnancy.
"And that is just a step further in abridging the rights of women who have a pregnancy…I’m sure this woman never really thought that she would be charged for a crime if another person attacked her with a gun. This seems to be an indication that someone is trying to broaden the area of the law to create crimes where one did not exist before,” Kira Fonteneau, ACLU of Alabama Board President said.
Jone’s attorney’s released a statement asserting that they will vigorously defend their client
The Jefferson County Bessemer Cutoff District Attorney, Lynneice Washington says her office is still evaluating the case and hasn’t decided on the charges.
Washington released the following statement late Thursday night.
"We will take a thorough look at all the facts provided, the applicable laws and reach a decision that we believe will lead to an outcome that is the most just for all the parties involved.”