Image: Christy Freeman
AP
Charges in the death of an unborn fetus found last week were dropped against Christy Freeman, but prosecutors charged her with the murder of another fetus born to her in 2003.
updated 8/2/2007 4:41:30 PM ET 2007-08-02T20:41:30

Murder charges against an Ocean City woman accused of killing her unborn fetus last week were dismissed Thursday — but Christy Freeman was charged with murder in the death of another fetus found on her property.

The legal switch was announced by the prosecutor after a court appearance Thursday by Freeman, a taxi driver who gave birth last week to a stillborn boy but initially told emergency medical crew members that she was not pregnant. Authorities eventually found that fetus hidden under Freeman's bathroom sink, then discovered the remains of three older fetuses on her property.

Freeman was initially charged with murder under a 2005 law that allows murder convictions of people who cause the deaths of fetuses that could live outside the womb. However, that law contains a specific exemption for women who cause the deaths of babies they're carrying.

State's Attorney Joel Todd did not offer an immediate explanation for the change Thursday. Her referred questions to his spokeswoman, who did not immediately return calls for clarification.

However, Todd sent to reporters a statement saying that his request to the court for dismissal said that the new charges "are more applicable to the facts and circumstances of this case than charges brought under the Viable Fetus Statute of 2005."

Kimberly Schultz, a spokeswoman for Freeman's public defender, said Freeman pleaded not guilty Thursday to the new charges.

Todd's release said she is being charged with murdering "an infant child born to her in 2003."

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