By: Julie Montanaro
October 9, 2013
Tallahassee, FL - A Tallahassee man accused of killing his pregnant girlfriend and her brother is set to stand trial next week. Some lawmakers say that case is a a perfect example of why Florida law should be updated to hold criminals accountable for the death of unborn babies too.
A family member made the shocking discovery that day in January 2011. 20 year old Laquecia Herring and her 17 year old brother, Sterling Conner, were found shot to death in their home in Wolf Creek. Deputies soon revealed that Herring was 21 weeks pregnant. Herring's boyfriend, Deshon Thomas, was later arrested and charged with two counts of murder.
Wednesday state Representative Larry Ahern and State Senator Kelli Stargel announced they are trying to change Florida law so that in the future, people in cases like this are held accountable-- not only for the death of the mother, but the death of her unborn baby too.
Larry Ahern: "The violence is typically directed, we've seen, against the pregnancy, the child. Sometimes the mother survives and baby dies or vice versa."
The sponsors of the "Unborn Victims of Violence Act" say anyone who killed or injured a pregnant woman would face additional charges for killing or injuring her unborn baby, too. Sponsors say the bill is not about abortion.
Sen. Kelli Stargel, Lakeland: "There's protection for the woman. There's protection for the doctors. There's protections for all abortions of legal means. This is not an abortion bill. It's for acts of violence that happen against a woman who in essence loses her child."
As for Deshon Thomas, he'll stand trial next week for the murder of his girlfriend and her brother, not her unborn baby.