An affair between a Louisiana middle school principal and teacher turned deadly after the teacher became pregnant and refused to have an abortion, Rolling Out news reports.
Robert Marks, 39, is accused of killing Lyntell Washington, 40, and their unborn child, and then dumping her body in a ditch, according to the report. He has been charged with first-degree murder and first-degree feticide, according to Fox 59 News. Washington was seven months pregnant with their unborn child, according to Baton Rouge police.
Marks was an assistant principal at Brookston Middle School in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Washington was a teacher there. Washington reportedly was a much-loved teacher who once earned a Teacher of the Year award.
Marks was married when the two began having an affair, according to the report. Police said when Washington became pregnant, Marks began pressuring her to have an abortion; however, Washington refused and threatened to tell Marks’ wife.
The two reportedly argued and then Marks allegedly shot Washington in the head and threw her body in a ditch. According to reports, Marks then abandoned Washington’s 3-year-old daughter, who was with them at the time, in a parking lot near her mother’s car.
Police arrested Marks on June 9 after finding the young girl and charged him with kidnapping, The Advocate reports. Police said the little girl told them that Marks hurt her mom and that “mom’s in the lake.”
Police began searching the area for Washington, but her body was not found until Tuesday when farm workers discovered it in a ditch, according to the report.
Louisiana is one of 37 states that have laws recognizing the unlawful killing of an unborn child as a homicide in at least some circumstances, according to the National Right to Life Committee. Earlier this month, LifeNews reported a similar case involving a Connecticut man who allegedly killed his wife and her eight-month unborn child and then set fire to their apartment. Police could only charge the man for one murder because Connecticut, unlike Louisiana, does not recognize unborn babies who are victims of violence.
Violence against pregnant women and their unborn babies is common – even without counting abortion. Pregnant women face high levels of domestic violence in the United States. One in six women is first abused during pregnancy, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Sometimes the abuse occurs after the woman refuses her partner’s demands to have an abortion, as it did with a Pennsylvania case in 2015.
In May, LifeNews reported another gruesome murder case involving a North Carolina woman who allegedly was murdered by her boyfriend after refusing to abort their child.
And in March, a Brooklyn, New York man was sentenced to 32 years in prison for a similar case. A jury found Torey Branch, 35, guilty of abortion, burglary and assault for beating his pregnant girlfriend and causing the death of their unborn child, LifeNews reported.