Three Days Before Her Due Date, Mother Killed for Deciding to Keep Her Baby

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Aug 6, 2019   |   2:17PM   |   Jackson, MS

A Mississippi man is accused of killing a pregnant woman and her unborn baby after she decided to keep her child.

McKayla Winston, 21, and her unborn baby were found dead on July 1, just three days before her due date, the Clarion Ledger reports.

Terence Sample, 33, possibly the father of the baby, is accused of kidnapping and murdering Winston after she told him that she planned to parent the baby, rather than make an adoption plan, the AP reports.

On Friday, Sample’s lawyer argued against his client being held in jail, saying authorities have not determined Winston’s cause of death; but a judge determined that there is enough evidence to hold Sample, according to the report.

Authorities said Winston went missing at the end of June and was found dead a few days later along a road in Holmes County, Mississippi. She was nine-months pregnant and was three days away from her due date. It is not clear from reports if Sample is being charged for the unborn baby’s death as well.

Prosecutors said they have cellphone messages and other evidence that Winston and Sample met on June 28, the day she went missing. Witnesses also said they saw the two meet at their planned location that day, according to the report.

Winston’s car and phone were discovered the next day in the same location, prosecutors said.

Then, on July 1, her body was discovered along a road. Authorities said Winston’s body was “badly deteriorated,” and she was wearing nothing but a bra.

When initially questioned about Winston’s disappearance, Sample told police that he had not spoken to her in three weeks, police said. Police said they also found possible blood stains and other DNA evidence in Sample’s vehicle and on his clothing.

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Prosecutors linked Winston’s death to her pregnancy. They said Sample was scheduled to have a paternity test on July 3.

“We know that he was upset once he realized she was not going to put the baby up for adoption,” District Attorney Akille Malone-Oliver said.

Authorities said her cause of death still has not been determined.

Sample’s attorney, Richard Carter, said there is no proof that she was murdered, and his client is being unjustly prosecuted, the local news reports.

The case has similarities to another on-going murder investigation in Mississippi. In that case, friends of the alleged victim, Alexandria “Ally” Kostial, a student at the University of Mississippi, said she may have been killed by the father of her unborn child because she refused an abortion. She was found dead on July 20 of multiple gunshot wounds.

LifeNews has reported countless crime stories involving pregnant women who allegedly were threatened, assaulted or killed after they refused to abort their unborn babies.

The March of Dimes reports one in six abused women reports the first abuse occurred while she was pregnant.

Several studies also have linked domestic violence to abortion. In these cases, some women were forced or pressured by partners into having abortions, while others believed having an abortion would help them escape abuse. A 2011 study in The Obstetrician and Gynaecologist found that almost 40 percent of the women seeking abortions had a history of physical abuse and relationship problems.

As LifeNews previously reported, another study found that as many as 64 percent of post-abortive women say they felt pressured to have an abortion.