by Steven Ertelt
April 1, 2008
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — A Maryland man who killed his pregnant girlfriend and her unborn child is the first convicted under a state law that allows justice for both victims. The state, like 35 others, has a law allowing prosecutors to bring charges for the death and injury of both mother and child when both are killed or hurt in an attack.
Last Wednesday, a jury deliberated for just one hour before finding David Lee Miller guilty of killing mother and child.
The Baltimore County Circuit Court jury said Miller was responsible for killing Elizabeth Walters and her unborn child and other related crimes.
According to prosecutors, Miller didn’t want Walters to have the baby even though she had already decided to keep the baby girl, whom she planned to name Olivia.
This defendant, David Miller, valued convenience in his life over the lives of [Walters and Lowe] and the life of his unborn child, Allan Webster, an assistant states attorney, said during closing arguments according to the Daily Record newspaper.
Thats what mattered more to him than anything else," he added.
Vivian Walters, Elizabeth’s mother, told the Daily Record she’s happy Miller was convicted on both counts.
We know theres going to be closure now, she said. [Miller] is going to be held accountable for what he did.
Olivia was recognized, Vivian added. That was important.
Miller’s defense counsel has already appealed the verdict and a hearing on that is set for July 7 before Judge Dana M. Levitz, the newspaper indicated.
Section 2-103 of the Annotated Code of Maryland includes the new unborn victims law House Bill 398 put in place in 2005.
"A prosecution may be instituted for murder or manslaughter of a viable fetus," if the person prosecuted "intended to cause the death of the viable fetus, intended to cause serious physical injury to the viable fetus, or wantonly or recklessly disregarded the likelihood that the person’s actions would cause the death of or serious physical injury to the viable fetus.
Maryland’s law is one of 10 that only provide justice and protection for pregnant women and unborn children after viability.
Another 26 states provide protection and justice throughout pregnancy.
The newspaper said Webster showed a picture of Olivia to the court and said Miller should be held accountable for killing a baby who had every chance to live had she been born prematurely.
Nancy Paltell, associate director for the Respect for Life Department of the Catholic conference, told the Catholic News Service she’s glad the law was used as intended.
"Clearly this man took the lives of two human beings, so why shouldn’t he be convicted of two murders," she said.
"It should serve as a lesson too. The reason for the murder was the baby. It’s not acceptable for fathers to try and kill or harm the fetus if the woman won’t have an abortion."