Attorneys for an Alabama woman who was indicted on manslaughter charges after she was shot because her unborn child died have reportedly called for courts to throw out the charges.
Marshae Jones, 28, was arrested Wednesday after a grand jury argued that she purposefully initiated a fight to terminate her pregnancy. Jones was five months pregnant at the time of the fight, during which she was shot in the stomach by another woman, Ebony Jemison. The jury found that Jemison was acting in self defense.
“It defies logic and reason to believe that Ms. Jones’ legal provocation was caused by her unborn child,” he lawyers wrote in a petition to the Jefferson County Circuit Criminal Court, Reuters reported. They argued that Jones would have had to know Jemison was going to shoot her ahead of the fight to be guilty of manslaughter.
The firm also ripped the case in a Monday press release.
“It is simply unconscionable to prosecute a shooting victim for losing her baby as a result of an unforseeable injury," the firm said, USA Today reported. "The charges against Marshae are based on a flawed and contorted theory of criminal liability that simply does not exist under the law. We are asking the Court to dismiss this unreasonable, unfounded, and unjust indictment with prejudice and without delay."
The Bessemer Cutoff District Attorney’s office said in a statement last week that it is still considering whether to bring manslaughter charges or lesser ones, Reuters reported.
The case is seen as a test of an Alabama law that gives fetuses the same rights as people.