by Steven Ertelt
April 11, 2008
Canton, OH (LifeNews.com) — Attorneys for convicted former police officer Bobby Cutts have filed an appeal with the 5th District Court of Appeals. Cutts was convicted of double murder for killing his pregnant girlfriend and her nine-month-old unborn child — in an application of an unborn victims law pro-life groups supported.
Cutts was found guilty of killing his pregnant girlfriend Jesse Davis and her baby Chloe and will serve a life sentence in prison without the possibility of parole until he’s been in jail for 57 years.
The Canton Repository indicates the defense attorneys allege the judge failed to instruct the jury it could convict Cutts on lesser charges.
The appeal also contends impermissible hearsay was allowed at the trial, and cites inconsistent verdicts, a refusal to change the venue, and sufficiency of evidence as potential reasons for reviewing the case.
The jury found Cutts guilty of aggravated murder in the death of Chloe and guilty of a lesser murder charge related to Davis’ death.
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.
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.
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.
Cutts was charged both for the murder of Jesse Davis and Chloe 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, or 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.