Marshae Jones, who lost her pregnancy when she was shot in the stomach following a fight, was actually charged with manslaughter last week for the death of her child.
The case received national attention and there was a public outcry for justice. An Alabama district attorney has now decided to dismiss the grand jury’s indictment and drop the charge. Jefferson County Bessemer Cutoff District Attorney Lynniece Washington said on Wednesday, during a news conference, that no further legal action will be taken against Jones.
“As I have previously stated, this is truly a disturbing and heart-breaking case, an unborn child was tragically lost and families on both sides of this matter have suffered,” Washington said. “Nothing, nothing, nothing, we do today or in the future will change that reality.
“The issue before us is whether it’s appropriate to try to hold someone legally culpable for the actions that led to the death of the unborn child. There are no winners, only losers in this sad ordeal. After the 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 the prosecution of Ms. Jones on a misdemeanor charge for which she was indicted by the grand jury.
“Therefore, I am hereby dismissing the case, and no further legal action will be taken against Ms. Jones in this matter.”
Here’s a clip from the press conference where Washington announces her decision on Jones’ case:
Jones was five months pregnant in December 2018 when she was shot in the stomach by Ebony Jemison, which caused her to lose her baby girl. The jury reasoned that Jones should be charged because she allegedly started the fight.
“The District Attorney’s decision will help Marshae continue to heal from this tragic event and work to rebuild her life in a positive and productive way,” her attorney’s said in a statement.
“She moves forward with enormous gratitude for the support she and her family have received during this challenging time. With the dismissal of charges, the community of support that surrounded Marshae can now channel its immense passion and energy toward ensuring that what happened to Marshae won’t ever happen again.”
Jones’ charge appears to contradict a portion of Alabama’s Criminal Code.
“Though the code does include ‘fetal homicide’ language, which defines an ‘unborn child in utero’ as a human being, regardless of viability, the code also states that — the prosecution of ‘any woman with respect to her unborn child’ should not be permitted under criminal homicide charges — like manslaughter,” according to The Montgomery Advertiser.