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A Big Decision in the Case of Woman Indicted in Fetus' Death

DA won't prosecute Marshae Jones
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 3, 2019 3:10 PM CDT
This file photo provided by the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office shows Marshae Jones.   (Jefferson County Sheriff's Office via AP, File)

(Newser) – An Alabama district attorney said Wednesday she is dropping charges against a woman who was indicted for manslaughter after she lost her fetus when she was shot during a fight, the AP reports. Marshae Jones was arrested last week after a grand jury concluded she intentionally caused the death of her fetus by initiating a fight, knowing she was pregnant. Jones was five months pregnant when 23-year-old Ebony Jemison shot her in the stomach during a December argument over the fetus' father, authorities said. Jemison was initially charged with manslaughter, but a Jefferson County grand jury declined to indict her after police said an investigation determined Jones started the fight, and Jemison ultimately fired in self-defense. Jones, 28, was indicted by the same grand jury and arrested.

But Jefferson County Bessemer Cutoff District Attorney Lynneice O. Washington said Wednesday that she would not pursue the case. "After reviewing the facts of this case and the applicable state law, I have determined that it is not in the best interest of justice to pursue prosecution of Ms. Jones," Washington said, flanked by her chief assistant and local church leaders. "There are no winners, only losers, in this sad ordeal." She did not take questions from reporters. Jones' lawyers, who had filed a motion to dismiss Monday morning, said they were pleased with Washington's decision and urged Jones' supporters to direct their energy to "ensuring that what happened to Marshae won't ever happen again." (Jones' arrest sparked outrage across the country; much more on that here.)


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