Prosecutors drop case against Alabama woman charged with her fetus's death

Marshae Jones, 27, was charged with manslaughter by a grand jury after she was shot in the stomach during a fight in December, police said.

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By Doha Madani

Prosecutors dropped their case against a 27-year-old woman in Alabama whose fetus died after she was shot in the stomach.

Marshae Jones was charged with manslaughter by a grand jury after she was shot in the stomach during a December fight, police in Pleasant Grove said. Police said that Jones, who was five months pregnant at the time, incited the fight about the baby's father.

The Bessemer Cutoff district attorney dismissed the manslaughter charge Wednesday, stating that, "there are no winners."

Lawyers for Jones said in a statement Wednesday that they were "gratified" that prosecutors chose to drop the case, which was "neither reasonable nor just."

"The District Attorney’s decision will help Marshae continue to heal from this tragic event and work to rebuild her life in a positive and productive way," the statement said.

Marshae JonesJefferson County Jail

Ebony Jemison, the woman who allegedly shot Jones, was initially charged with manslaughter.

But a Jefferson County grand jury declined to indict after police said Jones started the fight, and Jemison, 23, ultimately fired in self-defense — though Jones was not armed. The same grand jury then said Jones did "intentionally cause the death" of her unborn child by allegedly starting the fight.

Jones’ case drew national attention after AL.com first reported on the story June 25, with the charges against her sparking criticism from women’s rights groups.

“The person with the gun is the one responsible for the loss of the fetus,” Toni Van Pelt, president of the National Organization for Women, said to NBC News in a statement last week.

The American Civil Liberties Union commended the district attorney's office Wednesday, though it said Jones should not have been charged at all.

"The DA's decision represents precisely what we want to see in these critical moments: a prosecutor who is not afraid to use prosecutorial discretion and power to refuse to prosecute when the law and justice demands that charges should be dropped," ACLU Deputy Legal Director Jeff Robinson said.