(Reuters) - An Alabama woman was charged with manslaughter over the death of her unborn child after she was shot in a dispute with another woman in December that police said the pregnant woman started, local media reported.
The woman, Marshae Jones, 28, of Birmingham, who was five months pregnant at the time of the shooting, was arrested on Wednesday after being indicted by a Jefferson County grand jury, AL.com reported.
“All indications and all the evidence points to the fact that the victim, or the mother of the unborn child, was the aggressor, and she’s no longer listed as a victim,” Pleasant Grove Police Lieutenant Danny Reid told WIAT television in Birmingham shortly after the Dec. 4 shooting.
“The only victim we have here is that unborn child,” Reid said.
Police blamed Jones for initiating the altercation with Ebony Jemison, which had to do with the father of the fetus, and for causing Jemison to defend herself, AL.com said. The shooting occurred in Pleasant Grove, just west of Birmingham.
Jemison, 23, was initially charged with manslaughter, but a grand jury failed to indict her, the news outlet said.
Jones was being held at the Jefferson County Jail on $50,000 bond, according to jail records.
Bessemer Cutoff District Attorney Lynneice Washington did not immediately respond to a phone call seeking comment.
Alabama enacted the country’s strictest restrictions on abortion last month, when Republican Governor Kay Ivey signed a measure that bans the procedure in nearly every instance, including cases of rape and incest.
Jones’ arrest was decried by the Yellowhammer Fund, an Alabama-based advocacy group that provides financial assistance to women seeking abortions in the state.
“As a reproductive justice fund, we commit ourselves to making sure that Marshae is released from jail on bond, assisting with her legal representation, and working to ensure that she gets justice for the multiple attacks that she has endured,” the group said on Facebook.
Reporting by Peter Szekely in New York; editing by Bill Berkrot