by Steven Ertelt
February 14, 2008
Canton, OH (LifeNews.com) — Former Canton police officer Bobby Cutts was found guilty on Friday of killing his pregnant girlfriend Jesse Davis and her nine-month unborn child Chloe. After deliberating for more than 21 hours about the case, the jury of six men and six women reached a unanimous verdict.
The case is one of the latest to draw the nation’s attention to violence against pregnant women and how they are frequently targeted because of their pregnancy.
The jury found Cutts guilty of aggravated murder in the death of Chloe and guilty of a lesser murder charge related to Davis’ death.
Because Chloe’s death occurred during the commission of another crime, Ohio law makes Cutts eligible for the death penalty.
During the trial, Cutts sobbed on the witness stand as he admitted killing Davis and Chloe, though he claimed their deaths were an accident and he didn’t mean to harm them. Prosecutors contended Cutts strangled Davis because of disagreements about child support and financial issues.
On February 25, the penalty portion of the case begins and Cutts will receive either 25 years to life with the possibility of parole, 30 years to life with parole, life without parole or the death penalty.
When investigating the 26 year-old Davis’ home, authorities found overturned furniture and bleached spilled on the floor, likely to cover up the blood loss resulting from the attack. Officials eventually found Davis’ body Saturday in Cuyahoga Valley National Park, with the body of her dead daughter Chloe still inside her.
Cutts had been charged both for the murder of Jesse Davis under an Ohio unborn victims law that allows a second charge when an unborn child is killed. The law is similar to the one used to prosecute Scott Peterson in the deaths of his wife and unborn son Laci and Conner.
Ohio’s law says that, at any stage of a pregnancy, if an "unborn member of the species homo sapiens, who is or was carried in the womb of another" is killed, it is aggravated murder, murder, voluntary manslaughter, involuntary manslaughter, negligent homicide, aggravated vehicular homicide, and vehicular homicide, depending on the circumstances.
The Ohio law was adopted in 1998 and similar laws are in effect in 36 states with 26 of them that protect mothers and their babies throughout pregnancy.