Ayanna Woodhouse is charged with Boston aggravated assault and battery and manslaughter in the death of a six-month-old fetus. The 25-year-old woman was indicted on Friday by a Suffolk County Grand Jury. They rendered their decision after hearing testimony from medical experts who said that under normal circumstances the baby could have lived outside the womb. At her arraignment on Monday, she pleaded not guilty to the criminal charges.
According to authorities, the Wellesley woman punched and kicked a pregnant woman during a brawl in April at Tulip Nail, a Boston nail salon. Following the incident, the fetus was delivered by emergency C-section but died. According to the medical examiner, the placenta became detached from the uterus. Woodhouse is related to the baby’s father.
Woodhouse’s Boston criminal defense lawyer says that it is unclear who began the fight. Per a Boston police report, after the two women left the salon the pregnant woman followed Woodhouse in her car and they reportedly continued their dispute. According to the Suffolk District Attorney’s Office, there was not enough evidence to establish that any intent to kill was involved. Massachusetts is one of the US states that will pursue homicides of unborn children who could have otherwise survive outside the womb.
A conviction for Massachusetts manslaughter can land a defendant in prison for up to 20 years. This is a serious criminal charge and in many cases the accused never intended to harm the victim.
Wellesley woman pleads not guilty to harming fetus, Boston.com, July 12, 2010
Woman indicted in death of fetus, Boston Herald, July 12, 2010
Related Web Resource:
Fetal Homicide State Laws, National Conference of State Legislature
It is important that you are represented by a Boston manslaughter law firm that knows how to successfully deal with the complexities of this type of case.