Alabama mother, 27, indicted in shooting death of her 5-month-old fetus while woman who shot her walks free
A woman has been indicted in the death of her own unborn baby after she was killed in a shooting incident at Pleasant Grove, Jefferson County back in 2018.
Marshae Jones, 27, of Birmingham, was taken into custody Wednesday after being indicted by a Jefferson County grand jury on a manslaughter charge, AL.com reports.
Authorities said while Jones did not fire the shots that killed her unborn baby, it was she who initiated the dispute that turned violent.
Police had previously charged 23-year-old Ebony Jemison with manslaughter. However, the charge was dismissed after the grand jury decided not to indict her.
The incident took place around noon on December 4, 2018, on Park Road. Responding officers found that the shooting victim had already been picked up and driven to Fairfield. She was later found at a convenience store in the vicinity by police and paramedics.
Jones was five months pregnant when she was shot in the stomach and taken from Fairfield to UAB Hospital. Doctors found the unborn baby had not survived the shooting incident.
“The investigation showed that the only true victim in this was the unborn baby,’’ Pleasant Grove police Lt. Danny Reid said at the time. “It was the mother of the child who initiated and continued the fight which resulted in the death of her own unborn baby.”
According to Reid, the two women fought over the unborn baby's father.
Subsequent investigation indicated it was Jones who started and pressed the fight.
Meanwhile, the grand jury ruled Jemison was only defending herself when she fired the shots and caused the death of the child.
"Let’s not lose sight that the unborn baby is the victim here,’’ Reid said. “She had no choice in being brought unnecessarily into a fight where she was relying on her mother for protection."
Reid added that the five-month-old fetus was "dependent on its mother to try to keep it from harm, and she shouldn’t seek out unnecessary physical altercations."
Police said Jones will soon be transferred to Jefferson County Jail where she will be held on a $50,000 bond. Meanwhile, several women's rights activists were outraged at the news of Jones' grand jury indictment.
Amanda Reyes, Executive Director of the Yellowhammer Fund—which helps women access abortion services—released a statement Wednesday night. “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,’’ she said.
“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," she added.