Reported the Associated Press today:

Indianapolis – A pregnant teller shot in a bank robbery has lost the twins she was carrying, and police continued to search for the gunman Friday.
Katherin Shuffield, who was five months pregnant [and 30 years old], was critically wounded when a masked gunman shot her in the abdomen Tuesday morning at a Huntington Bank branch.

What happened to the babies? USA Today

Her family and authorities had said the bullets missed the five-month-old fetuses, but complications set in and doctors decided to deliver them prematurely late last night. One was born dead and the other died shortly after birth

Although the bullet missed the twins, surgeons had to remove a section of Shuffield’s intestine and her appendix. Shuffield first lost one of her babies then the other.
Will the gunman be charged with murder? No, according to USA Today:

The gunman, who still has not been found, could now be charged with felony feticide or other crimes. Had Shuffield been at least seven months pregnant, the gunman could have been charged with manslaughter.
Indiana defines feticide as a “person who knowingly or intentionally terminates a human pregnancy with an intention other than to produce a live birth or to remove a dead fetus commits feticide, a Class C felony.”

Not so fast. I don’t know where USA Today is getting its legal information from, but that’s not how I read IN law. I don’t know the exact age of the babies, but 23 weeks is considered the line of viability, somewhere in the 5th month. If doctors decided to deliver the babies, they thought the babies stood a better chance of living outside their mother than inside. They must have thought them potentially viable. Here is IN law from the National Conference of State Legislatures (click to enlarge):
That said, I expect “viability” will get in the way of this case. State laws should strike this biased word from preborn homicide laws. Whether a baby is or isn’t viable is inconsequential. If someone murders a nonviable born person, say someone with terminally ill cancer, it is still called murder.
[HT: proofreader Angela, reader Janet; bank photo courtesy of the AP; Shuffield photo courtesy of USA Today]

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