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Lawyers: Drop Charges for Woman Indicted in Fetus' Death

Marshae Jones was shot while 5 months pregnant
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 1, 2019 2:15 PM CDT
This photo provided by Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office shows Marshae Jones.   (Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office via AP)

(Newser) – The criminal charges filed against a woman who was shot while five months pregnant, losing her unborn baby as a result, sparked a massive uproar. Now, lawyers for Marshae Jones have filed a motion to have the charges stemming from the 2018 incident dismissed. "Using flawed and twisted rationale, the State of Alabama has charged a new theory of criminal liability that does not lawfully exist," the documents state, per ABC News. "The State charges Ms. Jones with intending to cause the death of her unborn child by allegedly 'initiating a fight.' The State's theory ignores the law and ignores reason." The eight-page motion goes on to call the indictment charging the 27-year-old "unreasonable, irrational, and unfounded," per AL.com. A judge will consider the motion during Jones' arraignment on the felony manslaughter charge July 9.

"While everyday Ms. Jones relives the most tragic event in her life, the loss of her baby, Marlaysia Jones, she is now being forced by the state to fight an unprecedented attack that threatens to leave her six-year-old daughter without her mother," the motion says. "The prosecution of Ms. Jones is unjust, and the indictment is due to be dismissed." Jefferson County Bessemer Cutoff District Attorney Lynniece Washington spoke out on the charges for the first time Saturday, saying she would "respect" the grand jury's decision to indict, which was based on information provided by police, but that there had been "miscommunications" about her office's role in the whole thing. Her office has not yet decided whether to pursue the manslaughter charge, and "as district attorney, I have the discretion and power to do what I please," she said at a performance in Birmingham of the play "Justice on Trial: Black Lives Matter, Too." (The case immediately became a flashpoint on abortion.)

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