North Carolina District Attorney Ernie Lee will be refiling murder charges against Gregory R. Chapman, who allegedly shot a pregnant woman, causing her to miscarry twins.
Lisa Wallace was shot in the stomach. Her twins were born in a hospital, but died soon after birth. A birth and death certificate was issued to each twin. Their cause of death was listed as “pre-viable prematurity.” Wallace, who survived the assault, was five months pregnant.
At five months (20 weeks) of pregnancy, Wallace’s twins were fully formed, with hands and feet and unique fingerprints. REM sleep has been observed at about this age, and researchers believe that the potential to feel pain develops around this time.
The babies were killed in 2008, three years before the passage of the 2011 Unborn Victims of Violence Act. A judge dismissed the double murder charge, claiming that fetuses were not considered viable, and that therefore the law at the time did not consider them victims of the crime.
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The Unborn Victims of Violence Act was inspired by the case of Jenna Nielsen, a newspaper carrier who was eight months pregnant when she was stabbed to death outside a convenience store. The man who killed her and her unborn baby was never apprehended. The act allows for additional murder, manslaughter or assault charge in cases where a pregnant woman is attacked and her unborn baby harmed. According to the law, the perpetrator does not have to know that the victim is pregnant when he assaults her.
Although Judge dismissed the charges initially, a new 3 – 0 verdict was handed down by a three-judge panel, which ruled that a jury should decide whether penalties should be given in the death of the twins.
Chapman remains in jail with felony and weapons charges filed against him.
LifeNews.com Note: Sarah Terzo is a pro-life liberal who runs ClinicQuotes.com, a web site devoted to exposing the abortion industry. She is a member of the pro-life groups PLAGAL and Secular Pro-Life.