by Steven Ertelt
February 7, 2005
Dallas, TX (LifeNews.com) — In the first conviction under a Texas unborn victims law, a Dallas man will be headed to prison for killing a pregnant woman and her unborn child. The law is similar to a California statute used to prosecute Scott Peterson for the deaths of his wife Laci and unborn child Conner.
Emmanuel Rogers was found guilty in the shooting death of Virginia Ramirez and convicted on separate capital murder charges for killing her and her 9 week-old unborn baby.
Rogers’ defense attorney said Ramirez was found with marijuana in her bloodstream and she was living with a drug dealer at the time. He said there was no way to know if the baby was dead or alive at the time of her death.
However, a medical examiner said that the baby had been alive when she was killed.
Jurors were in agreement that the unborn child should be considered alive and a victim in the shooting, the Dallas Morning News reported.
"They weren’t looking for proof that the baby was alive at the time of the mother’s death," prosecutor Eric Mountain told the newspaper.
Mountain said he and his team of attorneys spent extra time making sure jurors understood the statute and its intent.
Pro-life groups are happy the law was used to bring Ramirez to justice for the two deaths.
"Complete recompense for such a heinous crime is unattainable; however, the
ruling in this case sets a new standard, marking the first time that the
penalties of The Prenatal Protection Act will be applied," Stacey Emick, Texas Right to Life’s legislative director, told LifeNews.com.
"Perpetrators who kill pregnant women in Texas will be charged with the murder of both the
mother and the unborn child," Emick added. "The message is now clear: Harming pregnant women in Texas is a serious crime with steep repercussions."
Joe Pojman of Texas Alliance for Life was also elated the law was used as intended and he said he hopes "by publicizing the prosecutions of these brutal acts, mothers and their unborn children will be better protected because would-be criminals will understand the consequences of their gruesome acts."
Pojman told LifeNews.com that "prosecutors are currently using the law in other areas of Texas, including Lufkin, Houston, El Paso, and Round Rock."