Man Convicted of Killing Pregnant Wife Who Refused Abortion

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Sep 10, 2003   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Man Convicted of Killing Pregnant Wife Who Refused Abortion

by Steven Ertelt Editor
September 10, 2003

Tampa, FL ( — A Florida man has been found guilty of killing his four-month pregnant wife and may serve a life term in prison. He killed her after she allegedly refused to have an abortion.

A circuit court jury found Joseph Peck guilty of murdering his wife Jennifer. He plans to appeal, claiming he was out of state at the time she was killed.

Jennifer’s father said he is saddened despite the murder conviction. "There’s no winner in a murder trial," he told the Associated Press. "We lost Jennifer forever."

Pro-life groups say the case is one of many that points to the need to pass the Unborn Victims of Violence Act and similar laws in state legislatures.

Joseph Peck boarded a plane in October 1995 to head to the couple’s home state from their residence in Florida.

After he arrived, he claims he couldn’t get in contact with his wife Jennifer for a day and a half. He reported her missing.

Police turned up her body in the trunk of a car parked in a strip club parking lot. She’d been killed by a blow to the head with a blunt object.

For years, no one knew what had happened to Jennifer. Joseph was a leading suspect because of a prior felony conviction and, only 15 months after Jennifer’s body was discovered, he was arrested and convicted on a rape charge.

He remained at the top of police lists until a break in the case finally came. One of Joseph’s family members later reported to police that some jewelry of Jennifer’s was hidden in a duffel bag Joseph had. When police found the bag, it contained Jennifer’s blood on it.

Court records show Jennifer told a counselor shortly before her death that Joseph was abusing her.