by Steven Ertelt
November 10, 2006
Vista, CA (LifeNews.com) — A California man who fatally shot his girlfriend and her 27 week-old unborn child has received two 40-year sentences for the death of both the woman and her baby. In May, he was found guilty of double homicide in a case that saw an application of the state’s unborn victims law.
That’s the same law that prosecutors used to charge Scott Peterson with two counts of murder in the killing of his wife Laci and their unborn child Conner.
In February 2004, Andree Francis Calac shot 22-year-old Marlene Magee in the face with a shotgun. At the time, both were found to have had meth in their systems.
On Friday, Judge Runston Maino sentenced Calac to 80 years in prison for killing Magee and her baby, who family members said she planned to name Meadow Rain.
Shaneal Villegas, Magee’s aunt, talked about the shooting during the sentencing.
"You know you didn’t deserve her or that baby," she told Calac as she glared at him, according to a North County Times news report. Calac returned the glare until his attorney whispered something to him and she turned away to stare at a wall.
"Andree knows what really happened," Villegas continued, "and what he did might not have been so innocent."
"I wish they’d post pictures of what you did in your cell," she added, according to the newspaper, "so you could see every day of your life what you did."
"You took everything away when you took two precious lives away," Magee’s cousin, Stanya Guachema told Calac.
Magee’s mother is raising her two children, a 4 and 6 year-old girl.
After learning of his sentence, Calac turned to Magee’s family and apologized.
"I’ll always think about this," he said, according to the Times. "I hope you know I never meant for this to happen, never expected it to happen. But you know what? I messed up and I accept responsibility for my actions."
During the trial, Calac took the stand and admitted he shot Magee, but claimed that he was moving his shotgun, which he said was wedged between cushions in a couch. He says it accidentally went off.
Prosecutors say he deliberately shoved the shotgun in Magee’s face with one hand and pushed her down on the couch with the other when he pulled the trigger. The shot killed Magee and her baby and blew off part of Calac’s left hand.
The jury returned a guilty verdict in the case.
California adopted a law in 1970 allowing prosecutors to charge criminals with two crimes when they kill or injure an unborn child in the course of attacking a pregnant woman. Some 33 states have similar laws, and most states, unlike California, apply the law throughout pregnancy.
The law was used in the Peterson case, which sparked a national effort to protect pregnant women and their babies from acts of violence.
Eventually Congress adopted, and President Bush signed into law, a measure that would allow for two charges when federal crimes are committed or attacks on pregnant women occur on federal lands.