Pregnant Indiana Mom Who Lost Twins in Robbery Attack Shares Her Story
by Steven Ertelt
May 5, 2008
Indianapolis, IN (LifeNews.com) — A pregnant mom of twin unborn babies, who both died when she was shot in a robbery at a local bank where she worked, spoke out Saturday about her ordeal. Because Indiana’s unborn victims law only protects women and unborn children after viability, the criminal will not be held accountable in their deaths.
LifeNews.com previously profiled Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi, who has called on the state legislature to change the law.
But on Saturday, 30-year-old Katherin Shuffield talked with local media about the attack and, in tears, recounted how the gunman refused to allow her to contact paramedics even though she had been shot.
Shuffield is a bank teller at a Huntington Bank branch and she was one of the victims of an April 22 aggravated robbery.
According to an AP report, the attacker jumped over her teller station and shot her once in the stomach and then left her on the ground bleeding as he forced other employees to turn over money.
"I said, ‘Please help me! He shot me, he shot me! My babies!’ He didn’t let anybody do anything because he was more worried about taking the money," Shuffield said during a news conference at Methodist Hospital.
Two days after the attack, Shuffield lost both baby girls. She said a nurse showed her a picture of the babies.
"When I see the pictures with my husband we always try to be strong and don’t cry. But it’s hard to see that they were so little," she said, according to AP.
Her husband Jason Shuffield told AP that he and his wife are still trying to accept the harsh reality that Katherin was injured and their two unborn babies are still.
"We’re just trying to hang in there and take everything day by day," he said.
Because Shuffield was less than seven months pregnant, police can only charge the assailant, who hasn’t been apprehended, with a less crime of feticide that carries only a two- to seven-year prison term. Had the unborn children been seven months along or older, the criminal could face 65 years on each count of murder.
Brizzi wants to expand the law to protect and give justice to mothers and unborn children throughout pregnancy.
The current state law, put in the books in the mid-1990s, is one of 36 across the nation that provides protection and justice. The measure helps in cases like that of Laci and Conner Peterson and the dozens of others who have been attacked in recent years. But it is one of 10 that don’t offer complete protection and justice.
Brizzi held a press conference with two legislators this afternoon to promote the change.
Should a bill be brought forward to expand the law, it would likely receive the support of Indiana Right to Life.
ACTION: Contact your state legislators and urge strong support for expanding the unborn victims law, Indiana Code 35-42-1-1, in the next legislative session. Go to https://www.in.gov/legislative and click on the Contact section for contact information.
Related web sites:
Indiana Right to Life – https://www.indianarighttolife.org