A Tennessee man has been found guilty of killing his pregnant girlfriend and her 13-week-old unborn baby. The assailant was charged with two crimes for killing both mother and child and was found guilty of killing both — which will potentially net him a lengthy prison term.
In the United States, we have laws that make it a crime to harm an embryo or fetus at any stage of pregnancy during an assault on a pregnant woman. In April 2004, George W. Bush signed into law The Unborn Victims of Violence Act and 31 states have similar laws in place. Prosecutors used Tennessee’s version of the law to bring forth the second murder charge for killing the unborn baby.
The trial lasted five days. Donaldson was also convicted of second degree murder in the death of Crider’s unborn child, and the attempted second degree murder of her mother, Pebbles Crider.
Donaldson is the first defendant convicted in Knox County under a law that allows for the prosecution of defendants who murder a fetus, regardless of the viability of the unborn child. Under prior law, the fetus had to be viable in order sustain a charge for murder.
He faces a minimum of 18 years in prison. The state will request the maximum penalty allowed under the law, which is 72 years in prison. He will be sentenced on March 6th.