When Pregnant Woman Are Killed

North Carolina is one of a few states without a fetal homicide law.

Duplin County lawmen announced this week that a man accused of shooting a pregnant woman has been captured in New York.  Gary Chapman is accused of shooting Lisa Michelle Wallace on May 26 in Warsaw.  Wallace survived, but the unborn twins she was carrying did not. 

On the same day, Raleigh Police announced a man accused of fatally shooting his pregnant girlfriend on June 7 was also arrested in New York. 

Neither of these men will be charged with the deaths of the unborn babies when they are charged.  North Carolina is one of a few states without a fetal homicide law.

The law, or lack thereof, received a lot of press in the wake of the murder of Maria Lauterbach. She was the Camp Lejeune Marine who was found buried in her comrade's backyard in January. Cesar Laurean, while charged with the murder of Lauterbach, will not face charges for the death of her baby.  Lauterbach was eight months pregnant when she was murdered.

Many states have laws that charge accused killers of pregnant women with the death of their unborn babies.  What do you think is right?

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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by William Location: A/P Peninsula on Jul 1, 2008 at 04:21 AM
    As a father who lives with the loss of a child he knew only in the womb, I can tell you that those who cause the death of an unborn person should bear responsibility for that crime ... and punishment should be meted out by the courts accordingly.
  • by regina Location: Warsaw NC on Jun 25, 2008 at 03:32 PM
    I feel that pregnant woman are killed because men hate responsibilit but they want sex
  • by Concerned Location: Williamston on Jun 25, 2008 at 12:07 PM
    Why shouldnt the men be charged for the death of the babies? Thats obsurd and where is the justice in that? NC should concider the fetal law b/c there are some crazy men that dont want these kids to start with and they feel like if they can get rid of the babies and not have to face murder charges--they will continue to do just that. That is a life, after conception and you hear a heartbeat, thats pretty much a life. Only Jesus should have the say-so about if the child lives or not. I say make the suckers pay for what they did--harsh punishment is what they need.
  • by Susan Location: Greenville on Jun 25, 2008 at 06:47 AM
    I believe that as long as there is a heartbeat that baby is alive. It should not matter about if he/she took their first breath of air. These men should be charged for the murder of not only the woman but of that unborn child. That baby had a right to live just as the mother did.
  • by Maria Location: North Carolina on Jun 25, 2008 at 06:20 AM
    I think that they ought to be charged with the murder of the unborn child also. It is a living person, just like the mother, so why not?
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