You read that right. An Alabama woman who lost her unborn child after being shot in the stomach, has been indicted on manslaughter charges while the charges against the shooter have been dismissed.
According to AL.com, Marshae Jones, 27, was taken into custody on Wednesday after a Jefferson County grand jury indicted her on the charge.
Authorities say that Jones was the one who initiated the encounter that led to the shooting, killing her unborn baby girl. Meanwhile, 23-year-old Ebony Jemison, who was originally charged with manslaughter, was able to walk free after the grand jury declined to indict her.
“The investigation showed that the only true victim in this was the unborn baby,’’ Pleasant Grove police Lt. Danny Reid said at the time of the shooting. “It was the mother of the child who initiated and continued the fight which resulted in the death of her own unborn baby.”
The shooting occurred on Dec. 4 2018 outside a Dollar General. Jones was five months pregnant at the time.
According to Reid, the fight started over the father of the unborn child. Reid claimed that Jones was the one who started and pushed for a fight, which prompted Jemison to defend herself.
“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.”
Jones is being held on a $50,000 bond at Jefferson County Jail.
Naturally, the progress in the case thus far has sparked outrage across the community, as well as women’s rights activist, including the Yellowhammer Fund, which is part of the National Network of Abortion Funds, helping women access abortion services.
“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,’’ Executive Director of the Fund Amanda Reyes said in a statement. “Today, Marshae Jones is being charged with manslaughter for being pregnant and getting shot while engaging in an altercation with a person who had a gun. Tomorrow, it will be another Black woman, maybe for having a drink while pregnant. And after that, another, for not obtaining adequate prenatal care.”
In the statement, Reyes vowed to ensure that Jones will be released on bond, and said that the Fund will assist her with legal representation.
“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,’’ Reyes said.