In yet another case of abortion-related violence, a California man was convicted of murder Monday after he allegedly hired a hitman who killed his pregnant girlfriend and their unborn son after she refused to have an abortion.
The City News Service reports a jury found Derek Paul Smyer, 36, of California, guilty of second-degree murder in relation to his girlfriend Crystal Taylor’s death and first-degree murder for his unborn son’s. He could be sentenced to life in prison for the crimes.
A second jury also convicted the alleged hitman, Skyler Jefferson Moore, 35, of California, of first-degree murder in the girlfriend’s and unborn child’s deaths, according to the report. Court documents indicate the unborn baby boy’s name was Jeremiah Johnson Taylor.
In 2011, Moore confessed in a video to shooting Taylor in the head, the report states.
Prosecutors said Moore ambushed Taylor as she was walking from her apartment in Hawthorne, California to her car in 2001; she was between 21 and 22 weeks pregnant at the time. A neighbor said he heard the gunshot and then saw Moore run away, according to court testimony.
Smyer denied hiring Moore to commit the crimes. He told the jury that he did urge Taylor to have an abortion; but when she refused, he began preparing to be a responsible father.
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Here’s more from the report:
Deputy District Attorney Danette Meyers told City News Service she understood the jury’s decision to find Smyer guilty of second-degree murder for the mother’s killing and first-degree for the killing of her baby-to-be.
“The intent was to kill the baby,” Meyers said. “The premeditation went toward killing that baby.”
Smyer was arrested and charged with murder a decade after the Sept. 25, 2001, killings of Taylor and her unborn son. An earlier jury deadlocked in August, leading to a mistrial.
Stories of domestic violence and forced abortions are more common than abortion advocates would like people to think.
In March, a Hawaii jury convicted a man of murdering his pregnant ex-girlfriend after prosecutors said he stabbed her to death for refusing to abort their unborn child. It does not appear that there were any charges in connection to the unborn child’s death in the case.
And last year, a Brooklyn, New York man was sentenced to to up to 32 years in prison after a court found him guilty of attacking his pregnant girlfriend and killing their unborn child. In that case, the girlfriend, Mia Jones, also had refused her boyfriend’s demands to abort their unborn child.
In a separate New York case, another man was convicted of attempted murder in November 2015 after he allegedly secretly gave his pregnant girlfriend an abortion drug that caused the death of their 13-week unborn child, LifeNews reported. His girlfriend said she refused to abort their unborn baby, even though he was constantly pressuring her.
Last June, LifeNews reported another gruesome case involving a North Carolina woman who allegedly was murdered by her boyfriend after refusing to abort their child.
Elliot Institute Director David Reardon, who co-authored the Medical Science Monitor study, said, “In many of the cases documented for our ‘Forced Abortion in America’ report, police and witnesses reported that acts of violence and murder took place after the woman refused to abort or because the attacker didn’t want the pregnancy.”
“Even if a woman isn’t physically threatened, she often faces intense pressure, abandonment, lack of support, or emotional blackmail if she doesn’t abort. While abortion is often described as a ‘choice,’ women who’ve been there tell a very different story,” Reardon said.