Alabama authorities on Wednesday dropped controversial manslaughter charges against a woman who was blamed for miscarrying her fetus because she started a fight that ended with her getting shot in the abdomen.
The indictment last week of Marshae Jones, 27, sparked outrage after authorities said she was responsible for her miscarriage because she knew she was 5-months pregnant when she fought with a woman who shot her in the stomach — while the shooter was not charged.
But Jefferson County Bessemer Cutoff DA Lynniece Washington announced on Wednesday that Jones’ charges had been dropped, saying it was “not in the best interest of justice” to prosecute her.
“There are no winners, only losers, in this sad ordeal,” she said at a press conference, calling it a “disturbing and heartbreaking case.”
“An unborn child was tragically lost, and families on both sides of this matter have suffered,’’ Washington said, according to AL.com.
“Nothing we do today or in the future will change that reality.”
She added, “Therefore, I am hereby dismissing this case, and no further legal action will be taken against Ms. Jones in this matter.”
Jones was 5-months pregnant when Ebony Jemison, 23, shot her in the stomach during a December argument in Pleasant Grove over the fetus’ father, authorities said.
Jemison was initially charged, but a grand jury declined to indict her after police said she acted in self-defense in the fight started by Jones.
Jones was instead charged with the manslaughter of the lost fetus even though she did not fire the shots that killed it.
Lawyers for Jones on Wednesday praised the prosecutor’s decision and called on supporters to help ensure that “what happened to Marshae won’t ever happen again.”
Her lawyers had filed a motion to dismiss Monday morning, arguing that the state used a “flawed and twisted rationale” that “ignores the law and ignores reason” in issuing the charges.
The idea that Jones intentionally caused the death of her fetus by initiating the fight is a “tortured,” ”irrational” theory which “defies the most basic logic and analysis,” the filing asserts.
Alabama is one of dozens of states that have fetal homicide laws allowing criminal charges when fetuses are killed in violent acts, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
With Post wires