Baltimore County Police reported that Friday evening (6/20/14) they responded to a home in the Rosedale area of Baltimore County after a 911 call from a resident who found her daughter severely injured. The victim, later identified as Summer Shemida Smith, was declared dead on the scene. Smith was 33 years old and lived at the home with her mother. Media reports indicated that her pregnancy was full-term. Her unborn child also died.
After an autopsy Saturday ,police announced that Smith’s death was the result of homicide. No cause of death or details on her injuries have been released. The autopsy results for her unborn child have not been announced yet by police either. Police say they don’t believe there is a danger to the community.
Maryland has a fetal homicide law (§ 2-103) which says that a defendant can be prosecuted for manslaughter or murder if (via NCSL.org) the perpetrator “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.”
Under Maryland law (§ 2-209), viable “means that stage when, in the best medical judgment of the attending physician based on the particular facts of the case before the physician, there is a reasonable likelihood of the fetus’s sustained survival outside the womb.”
The fact that Smith’s pregnancy was full-term would seemingly indicate that any homicide prosecution would include a second charge for the death of the child in addition to charges for Smith’s death.
LifeNews Note: Jeff Quinton is the author of the Quinton Report, based in Maryland, where this originally appeared.