Alleged Aurora, Colo., movie theater mass murderer James Holmes will not incur additional charges for the death of shooting victim Ashley Moser’s unborn child.
Unborn children are not seen as murder victims under Colorado law.
Former prosecutor and current adjunct professor at the University of Denver Karen Steinhauser, now a defense attorney, told The Associated Press Monday that homicide charges in the state are only applicable to those “who had been born and alive.”
Moser’s family released a statement on Saturday announcing the 25-year-old Colorado woman’s miscarriage as a result of her shooting injuries.
“An unborn baby is not yet a person for the purposes of our first degree murder statute, that’s kind of a combination of the medical and a legal determination,” noted Colorado’s 9 NEWS legal analyst Scott Robinson.
Former Colorado Republican congresswoman-turned-pro-life-activist Marilyn Musgrave told The Daily Caller that the death of Moser’s unborn child highlights the importance of unborn murder protections.
“What a poignant reminder to think of this precious child and her family,” Musgrave, vice president of government affairs for the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List, said.
Musgrave noted that legislation to extend protections to unborn children who die or are injured during a crime against the mother failed in the Colorado House this spring.
According to the National Right to Life advocacy organization, there are 27 states that recognize the murder of an unborn child through all phases of pregnancy and 9 states that offer partial coverage.
Moser’s daughter, six-year old Veronica Moser-Sullivan, was the youngest person killed during the shooting rampage at a midnight screening of “The Dark Knight Rises.” According to an aunt, Moser will likely be paralyzed as a result of her injuries.
James Holmes, accused of killing 12 people and injuring 58 others, has been charged with 24 murder-related offenses and 116 counts of attempted murder.