Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Michigan Teen Charged in Slaying of Preborn Child

A 16-year-old Michigan boy has been charged in the death of his 6-month old preborn child -- but under state law, the mother, who allegedly played an active role in the slaying, cannot be charged, The Detroit News reported.

Authorities said that at the request of his pregnant girlfriend, the boy repeatedly hit her in the abdomen with a baseball bat over a two-week period, resulting in a stillbirth. The teens then buried the child in the backyard of the boy's family.

The state's Prenatal Protection Act says that any person who intentionally harms a pregnant women resulting in the death of a preborn child is criminally liable, but such an act committed by the pregnant woman herself cannot be prosecuted.

Eric Smith, the county prosecutor for the case, called the case "shocking and reprehensible" but said, because he is bound by the law, he cannot charge the girl with a crime.

Had the child been old enough to survive on its own outside the womb at the time of the murder, the boy could have been charged with manslaughter and the girl with aiding and abetting manslaughter.

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