THURSDAY, JULY 4
US Prosecutors have dropped a manslaughter charge against a woman whose unborn baby died after she was shot in the stomach during a fight.
Marshae Jones, 28, was indicted by a grand jury in Alabama last week after it concluded she intentionally caused the death of the foetus by initiating a fight, knowing she was pregnant, news agencies reported..
District attorney Lynneice Washington announced she was dismissing the case and no further legal action would be brought.
“After reviewing the facts of this case and the applicable state law, I have determined that it is not in the best interest of justice to pursue prosecution of Ms Jones,” Ms Washington said.
“This is truly a disturbing and heartbreaking case. There are no winners, only losers in this sad ordeal.”
Ms Jones was five months pregnant when 23-year-old Ebony Jemison shot her in the stomach outside a general store in Pleasant Grove in December, 2018, during what authorities said was an argument over the unborn baby’s father.
Ms Jemison was initially charged with manslaughter, but a grand jury failed to indict her after it was determined Ms Jones had started the fight, and Ms Jemison had ultimately fired in self-defence.
Meanwhile, Ms Jones was indicted by the same grand jury and arrested.
Ms Washington said grand jury members made “what they believed to be a reasonable decision,” believing someone needed to be held accountable for the death of the foetus.
Ms Jones’s attorney, Mark White, said the decision to drop the charges would “help Marshae continue to heal from this tragic event and work to rebuild her life in a positive and productive way”.
Mr White argued the state had used a “flawed and twisted rationale” that “ignores the law and ignores reason”.
The arrest sparked outrage across the country, with women’s rights advocates calling it another attempt to charge women for crimes related to their pregnancies.
Legal scholars said the arrest raised questions about what other scenarios — such as driving a car or swimming in a pool — could constitute putting a foetus in danger.
The wife of Dubai’s ruler and owner of last year’s Melbourne Cup winner Cross Counter has reportedly fled the United Arab Emirates with their young son and daughter and sought asylum in London.
According to the BBC, Princess Haya Bint al-Hussein is said to be “afraid for her life”, while a person close to the family told The New York Times that she fled to Britain several months ago and was seeking a divorce.
It follows the departure from Dubai of one of her husband’s daughters last year.
Dubai’s ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who is also Prime Minister and Vice-President of the United Arab Emirates, has not officially commented but recently posted poems about heartbreak online.
Beyond his political power, Sheikh Mohammed is one of the world’s richest men and owns the thoroughbred breeding operation Godolphin which won the 2018 Melbourne Cup with Cross Counter and the 2019 Diamond Jubilee Stakes in England with Blue Point.
Princess Haya, 45, is the half sister of Jordan’s King Abdullah II.
She studied philosophy, politics and economics at the University of Oxford, is a former Olympic show jumper (she was Jordan’s flag bearer at the Sydney Olympics), was appointed a UN messenger of peace in 2007, and established her own foundation, Tkiyet Um Ali, to deliver food aid in the Arab world.
As the wife of 69-year-old Sheikh Mohammed (reportedly his sixth), she has championed the cause of improving health care, particularly for children.
Princess Haya and Sheikh Mohammed married in 2004 and have two children, aged 11 and seven.
A two-year-old boy has become the latest suspected victim of an influenza outbreak across WA that has seen the disease reach levels that dwarf previous years.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the Karratha toddler’s family with medical and funeral costs.
WA’s Department of Health said it could not confirm that a toddler died from the influenza virus until it received a report from the coroner.
Elijah David Huynh died in Perth Children’s Hospital on Tuesday after being flown from his Pilbara home town for treatment, according to the GoFundMe page.
“The virus spread like wildfire overnight and without any warning signs,” the family said.
“A valiant effort by the crew of the Karratha Health Campus, Royal Flying Doctors and Perth Children’s Hospital kept him around long enough for his immediate family to be with him, but in the end there wasn’t anything … that could have saved him.
“Although his life was cut short at just over two years old, the memories he gave us will be cherished for a life time.
“His beautiful cheeky smile will be missed by his mum Bec, dad Dave and how much he adored his new sister who entered into the world a few months ago.”
More than $17,000 has so far been raised for the family.
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