Colorado Man Won’t Be Charged for Killing Unborn Child

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 12, 2003   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Colorado Man Won’t Be Charged for Killing Unborn Child

by Steven Ertelt Editor
October 12, 2003

Colorado Springs, CO ( — In a case that points to the need for federal and state unborn victims’ laws, a Colorado man will not be charged in the death of an unborn child because the state has no law that allows prosecutors to hold him responsible.

Daniel Self, 46, was charged with killing a pregnant woman last spring, but won’t be charged with killing her unborn son. At a Thursday hearing, District Judge Gil Martinez dismissed a charge of child abuse resulting in death.

Leah Gee, Self’s girlfriend, died two days after she was shot and her son was delivered by doctors via Caesarian section. He died two weeks later form complications.

At a preliminary hearing, specialists testified that Gee’s head wound directly caused her baby’s death. The boy suffered brain injuries as a result of Gee having a low level of oxygen for a long period of time.

Under state law on homicides, a person is defined as someone who is born and is alive at the time the homicide occurs.

"Jeremiah was not born at the time of the homicidal act," Martinez said.

Self’s attorney, Cathy Roberts of Denver, asked Martinez to dismiss the charge. Roberts claimed Gee had not obtained proper prenatal care and it could have caused the baby’s death instead.

According to the National Right to Life Committee, 28 states have unborn victims laws that protect pregnant women and their unborn children through all or part of the pregnancy. Had Colorado had such a law on the books, Self would have been charged with an additional manslaughter or murder charge.

In April, Self reported that Gee, his girlfriend, shot herself in the head. A subsequent autopsy failed to support Self’s claim.

Gee was seven months pregnant and police said in April that Self was not the father of the unborn child, though whether Self knew that or not is unclear.