Prosecutors in Alabama on Wednesday announced that they were dropping a manslaughter charge against a woman over the death of the fetus she was carrying when she was shot in the stomach.
27-year-old Marshae Jones from Birmingham was shot in the stomach at about noon on Dec. 4, 2018, outside Dollar General on Park Road. She was five months pregnant at the time and her unborn child died as a result of the shooting.
Marshae was indicted by a Jefferson County grand jury on a manslaughter charge. She was taken into custody last Wednesday. Meanwhile, charges against her shooter, Ebony Jemison, 23, have been dismissed by a grand jury.
A grand jury in Jefferson County, convened by District Attorney Lynneice Washington, dismissed charges against the co-worker, saying she had acted in self-defense. But it indicted Ms. Jones for “initiating a fight knowing she was five months pregnant.”
According to The New York Times, Under Alabama law, a fetus is considered to have the same rights as a child who has already been born. The grand jury sought to hold someone accountable for its death and Ms. Jones was arrested last week. The charges against her quickly drew national attention.
On Wednesday, Ms. Washington, who had signed the indictment, said in a brief news conference that she had weighed the evidence and decided to dismiss 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 reporters. “No further legal action will be taken against Ms. Jones in this matter.”