Oregon Suspect Who Killed Pregnant Woman, Unborn Child Faces New Charges
by Steven Ertelt
June 15, 2009
Portland, OR (LifeNews.com) — An Oregon woman who stands accused of killing a pregnant mother and her eight-month old unborn children faces new charges in a court hearing today. Korena Elaine Roberts, 27, reportedly killed 21-year-old Heather Snively recently in order to steal her unborn child and call the baby her own.
An autopsy indicates Snively was killed following "blunt force” and "sharp force” injuries and that Roberts is behind the attack.
Roberts was arraigned in Washington County court earlier this month and she is charged with Snively’s murder. Today, the deadline for an indictment, a grand jury is expected to hand out new charges.
Because Oregon is not one of the 35 states with an unborn victims law, prosecutors can’t charge Roberts with the death of the unborn child, who was eight months old at the time of the killings.
Sen. Bruce Starr has been drafting legislation that would allow prosecutors to charge defendants like Roberts with two crimes for killing and injuring both mother and unborn child in such attacks.
"I hope to never see another case like we’ve seen," Starr said. "But in the event that we do, where you have an unbelievably barbaric crime and clearly two victims, both victims will receive proper justice."
Starr’s bill is similar to a bill approved in the Oregon House in 2005 but never made it out of committee in the Senate.
A funeral service has been set for Tuesday in St. Albans, West Virginia, where Snively is originally from, at Maranatha Fellowship Church.
Snively was eight months pregnant, and the unborn baby was cut from her body and died. Roberts apparently called emergency personnel for help with the baby, which she claimed was her own. At the hospital, she was discovered never to have been pregnant, and police found Snively’s body in the crawlspace of her home.
The church Snively grew up in started a fund to help the family pay for funeral expenses. Donations are accepted at Green Valley Church of God, 518 Green Valley Drive, St Albans.
Officials found Snively’s body several hours after hospital officials indicated a baby about the same age was presented at a local hospital. Roberts had called paramedics claiming problems following a supposed birth.
Snively’s family said she loved her unborn baby and was looking forward to his birth. She had planned to name her baby John Stephen, according to a Charleston Daily Mail report and had recently moved from West Virginia to Oregon to be with her boyfriend.
However, Snively met Roberts on the classifieds web site Craigslist, while looking for baby clothes, who identified herself as eight months pregnant as well.
David Kidd, Snively’s stepfather, told the Portland Oregonian newspaper that it appears Roberts wanted Snively’s child. "It seems that way," he said.
"She was really excited about her baby boy," he said of Snively and her expected birth.
Roberts already had two children under the age of 10.
Upon arrival at the hospital, doctors realized Roberts had not given birth to the baby boy, who died shortly afterwards. Roberts was arrested Saturday and charged with Snively’s murder and now she is being held without bond.
Oregon Right to Life, which is pressing for a new law calls the fact that prosecutors can’t hold the alleged killer, Korena Elaine Roberts, accountable for two crimes a "injustice in Oregons law."
"Both Heather and her unborn baby died from the attack but under Oregon law the District Attorney can not charge Roberts with the murder of the baby unless it is proven that the baby took a breath of air before dying," the group told LifeNews.com Wednesday.
ACTION: Go to https://www.leg.state.or.us to find contact information for your state lawmakers and urge strong support for the unborn victims bill sponsored by Senator Bruce Starr.
Related web sites:
Oregon Right to Life – https://www.ortl.org
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