Manslaughter Charge Dropped Against Pregnant Alabama Woman Who Got Shot and Lost Baby

Christine Pelisek
Manslaughter Charge Dropped Against Pregnant Alabama Woman

A manslaughter charge will be dismissed against Marshae Jones, the 27-year-old Alabama woman whose fetus died when she was shot during a fight with another woman in December.

The decision comes a week after police arrested Jones on the charge of manslaughter. She had been indicted by a grand jury in May.

“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 on the manslaughter charge for which she was indicted by the Grand Jury,” Jefferson County Bessemer Cutoff District Attorney Lynneice Washington said in a statement Wednesday obtained by PEOPLE.

Washington said “there are no winners, only losers, in this sad ordeal.”

Jones’s attorney Mark White applauded the district attorney’s decision.

RELATED: Pregnant Ala. Woman Was Shot During Fight and Lost Baby — Now She’s Charged With Manslaughter

“We were pleased,” he tells PEOPLE. “It is a little bittersweet, but today it is at least a little more sweet than bitter. This was totally unprecedented and hopefully it will stand alone and never be repeated.”

Jones was five months pregnant last December when she got into a fight with a woman outside the Dollar General in Pleasant Grove, Alabama.

The fight escalated, and 27-year-old Jones was shot in the stomach. She survived the shooting but lost her baby.

She didn’t fire the gun, but according to law enforcement at the time, she started the fight and was therefore responsible. “It was the mother of the child who initiated and continued the fight,” Pleasant Grove police Lt. Danny Reid, told at the time of the shooting.

The Washington Post reported that police said the shooter, 23-year-old Ebony Jemison, acted in self-defense. Originally, Jemison was charged with manslaughter, but the grand jury didn’t indict her, and the charge was dismissed, the AP reported.

The two women, Reid told reporters, were fighting over the unborn baby’s father.

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The charge against Jones came weeks after a law was signed by Alabama governor Kay Ivey banning nearly all abortions, including those for victims of rape or incest.

The New York Times reported that Alabama is one of 38 states that have fetal homicide laws recognizing the fetus as a victim when there is violence against a pregnant woman.

In a statement posted to Twitter reacting to Jones’ arrest, the National Abortion Foundation, a professional association of abortion providers, said, “This is how people — especially women of color — are already being punished & having their pregnancies criminalized.”