Oklahoma Man Will Charged with Two Crimes in Unborn Victims Case
by Paul Nowak
LifeNews.com Staff Writer
October 14, 2003
Oklahoma City, OK (LifeNews.com) — A fatal accident in Caddo County, Oklahoma has resulted in a man being charged with multiple counts of homicide because the victim was pregnant. The defendant faces federal charges as the accident occurred on Indian Trust Land.
According to the federal District Attorney’s office, David Leonard Jr. is being charged with two counts of second degree murder — one for Amy Sankadota, a passenger in another car who was eight months pregnant, and another for her "viable unborn Indian child."
Leonard also faces an additional charge of assault for the driver of the other vehicle, Gail Sankadota, who was seriously injured in the crash. If convicted, Leonard faces up to life in prison for each count of second degree homicide, and up to ten years for the count of assault.
The accident occurred June 14 on US Highway 281, north of Anadarko. The Oklahoma Highway Patrol stated that the car driven by Leonard crossed the center line and collided head-on with the Sankadotas’ vehicle.
According to Oklahoma law, the killing of an unborn child after viability is homicide. There is no provision for unborn victims prior to the period determined as "viable."
Twelve other states also provide protection for part of the prenatal development period of unborn children, and another 15 can prosecute for the death of an unborn child at any point before birth.
Some 38 states allow for parents to seek damages in civil court for the wrongful death of their unborn children.
The Unborn Victims of Violence Act, currently under consideration in Congress, wuold ensure that criminals who kill or injure unborn children are able the be charged for the crimes at any point during pregnancy.