An Austin, Texas man who allegedly beat his pregnant girlfriend and may have caused the death of their unborn baby will not go to jail after he agreed to a plea deal Monday.
Fox News reports Johnny Charles Ebbs V is accused of beating his pregnant girlfriend, LaShonda Lemons, in 2019; three days later, their unborn baby died, potentially from blunt force trauma.
An arrest warrant says Ebbs punched Lemons in the stomach during the fight and yelled, “F— you and this baby! You aren’t going anywhere,” according to KXAN.
Three days later, when Lemons went to the hospital, she said doctors informed her that her unborn baby had died. Doctors said the baby died due to a “placenta abruption,” meaning her placenta detached from the womb, which may have been caused by blunt force trauma, KXAN reports.
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On Monday, however, Ebbs received only an eight-year deferred adjudication on an assault charge and will serve probation; if he does not violate his probation, the charge will be dismissed in 2030, according to the report.
He will not serve any jail time.
Texas law now recognizes unborn babies as valuable human beings with a right to life. However, it appears there was not enough evidence that Ebb’s alleged assault led to his unborn child’s death to convict him.
Violence against pregnant women and unborn babies is a huge problem. Studies have found high rates of violent abuse among pregnant women and women seeking abortions. Homicide is one of the top causes of death among pregnant women, according to a 2021 study in the journal “Obstetrics & Gynecology.”
Sometimes, the abuse is connected to a mother’s refusal to abort her unborn child, although abortion was not mentioned in any reports about the Ebbs case.