New details about the killing of an unborn baby. While there is no question her death was brutal, the legality behind it isn’t as clear.
According to court documents the mother and father headed to the Bluffs mid May to discuss the future of their unborn baby. The couple decided they didn’t want to have the child.
Court records state the mother, who was seven months pregnant, allowed the father to hit her stomach as many as 10 times and squeeze her, hard enough to leave bruises. Documents state she told investigators she didn’t feel the baby move after he hit her.
About a week later, she delivered the baby at Kern Medical. The baby girl had a fractured skull and spinal injury. She didn’t survive.
Police said the father denies he hurt his girlfriend, or the unborn baby. Bakersfield police are investigating. The district attorney’s office is also reviewing the case.
California law defines murder as the unlawful killing of a human being or a fetus with malice aforethought. State law also has a provision that states: the law does not apply to any person who commits an act that results in the death of a fetus if the act was solicited, aided, abetted, or consented to by the mother of the fetus.
Local defense attorney Mark Anthony Raimondo said, “In the state of California a person who is pregnant, still pregnant, can terminate their pregnancy almost by any means and not be held liable criminally for their actions.”
Raimondo couldn’t speak directly to the case, but said state law also protects anyone who helps end a pregnancy at the mother’s direction.
Raimondo said, “It’s kind of a very unique circumstance. It doesn’t happen very often, but somebody who would assist somebody in ending a pregnancy whether it’s through minor means or something rather aggressive also cannot be prosecuted as an aider and abettor if it was at the director or assistance with the actual mother of the fetus.”
The coroner will determine if the baby’s death is a homicide. A death can be ruled a homicide, but not be a criminal case. It’s not yet known if that will be the case in this situation.
According to our records, there were two homicides in 2016 where unborn babies were killed. Both cases were handled by the sheriff’s department. Details of those investigations were not released.