The Alabama woman who was charged with manslaughter after suffering a miscarriage because of a gunshot wound she suffered in a fight now has a team of lawyers on her side who are demanding the charge be dropped.
Outrage erupted online last week after the news broke that a grand jury indicted Marshae Jones on manslaughter charges in her unborn baby's death, while her alleged shooter had her charges dismissed. They decided she responsible for the miscarriage because she provoked another woman into violence. The shooting occurred in 2018 when the 28-year-old Birmingham woman was five months pregnant; she was shot in the stomach near a Dollar General store in Pleasant Grove, resulting in a miscarriage, according to the Washington Post. The alleged shooter Ebony Jemison, 23, was initially charged with manslaughter but a grand jury declined to indict her. Investigators say she acted in self-defense and that it was Jones who triggered the fight.
Jones’ attorneys called the state’s logic "flawed and twisted” on Monday, urging the charge to be thrown out, Reuters reports. They said that the state is essentially claiming that Jones knew that igniting an argument with Jemison would result in her being shot in the stomach and losing her baby.
“It defies logic and reason to believe that Ms. Jones’ legal provocation was caused by her unborn child,” the legal team headed by Birmingham attorney Mark White wrote in their motion. They argue that the “unreasonable, irrational and unfounded indictment is fatally deficient and is due to be dismissed."
Last week, the Bessemer Cutoff District Attorney’s Office said they are still considering whether “to prosecute it [the case] as a manslaughter case, reduce it to a lesser charge or not to prosecute it” and on Monday they put out a statement saying they will determine possible future action soon.
Jones’ story went viral last week, with people taking to social media to share their outrage over the grand jury decision. Some expressed worry over what it meant for women’s rights.
“The Handmaid’s Tale has already arrived, in Alabama,” Zoe Williams wrote in a Guardian opinion piece. “And feminists everywhere need to see Marshae Jones’s battle as their own.”
Alabama voters passed a constitutional amendment in November that gave fetuses the full legal rights and protections of people.
“The investigation showed that the only true victim in this was the unborn baby,’’ Pleasant Grove Police Lt. Danny Reid told Al.com at the time of the shooting. “It was the mother of the child who initiated and continued the fight which resulted in the death of her own unborn baby.”
He claimed the fight was over the child’s father.
“When a 5-month pregnant woman initiates a fight and attacks another person, I believe some responsibility lies with her as to any injury to her unborn child,’’ Reid told the outlet. “That child is dependent on its mother to try to keep it from harm, and she shouldn’t seek out unnecessary physical altercations."
Jones was released on bail on Thursday. She has no prior criminal record.
Crime Time is your destination for true crime stories from around the world, breaking crime news, and information about Oxygen's original true crime shows and documentaries. Sign up for our Crime Time Newsletter and subscribe to our true crime podcast Martinis & Murder for all the best true crime content.