An Alabama teenager accused of shooting a pregnant female and killing her unborn child is now facing prosecution, AL.com reports.
The suspect, 19-year-old Avery Robert Turner, has been in jail since the shooting in April. Grand jurors in Jefferson County indicted Turner on a capital murder charge. He is also facing attempted murder charges, WBMA-TV reports.
Authorities first said the incident, which happened around 8 p.m. on a Friday, involved a pregnant female who was shot in the leg. But police later reported that the victim was shot in the stomach and that the unborn baby died as a result.
The child, who was called Baby Davis, later underwent an autopsy at the Jefferson County Coroner’s Office. The coroner confirmed that the baby was killed “as a direct result” of the bullet wound, according to the newspaper.
Avery was not the father of the fetus and told investigators that he wasn’t involved in any relationship with the pregnant woman. But police did determine that she was a target in the shooting, although the reasoning was not clear or has not been publicly released.
There is no trial date set yet for Turner.
Alabama is one of at least 38 states that have so-called “fetal homicide” laws – statutes on the books giving fetuses legal protection if they are killed or injured in violence directed at the mother, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
Of those states, at least 29 have laws that apply to early stages of pregnancy, including conception and fertilization.
[Feature Photo: Avery Robert Turner/Birmingham Police]