By Dave Andrusko
Multiple newspapers are reporting that authorities in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, have decided to drop attempted first-degree murder charges against Anna Yocca, who tried to self-abort her 24-week-old unborn baby using a coathanger last September.
Only one story included so much as a line on the condition of the baby (he’s “currently in the state foster care”). In a prior story, Sam Stockard of the Murfreesboro Post reported
Even though the baby survived the trauma [weighing 1.5 pounds] , physicians said the boy’s quality of life “will be forever harmed.” He will need a medically-experienced foster parent, remain on oxygen and take medication daily because of problems with his eyes, lungs and heart stemming from damage caused by the coat hanger. Medical staff also said other physical problems will arise when the child grows older.
On Monday Stockard reported that
The charge is expected to be reduced to aggravated assault against Anna Yocca, 31, of Murfreesboro, according to Public Defender Gerald Melton.
Melton, who is representing her, filed a motion Monday morning in Circuit Court to dismiss the attempted first-degree murder charge against Yocca, contending state law doesn’t apply to the charge in her case.
Circuit Court Judge Royce Taylor took the request under advisement. But Assistant District Attorney Hugh Ammerman, who is prosecuting the charge, opted not to oppose the motion, Melton said.
Instead, the assistant DA will take the case back to a Rutherford County grand jury during the next two weeks and likely seek a new indictment for aggravated assault, according to Melton.
Melton said, “We’re dealing with a much more realistic legal territory there.”
Yocca has remain jailed since December on $200,000 bond.
Stockard also explained that more than a dozen members of the “Stop Patriarchy” had showed up in December when she was arraigned by video from the county jail.
Wearing T-shirts emblazoned with the words, “Abortion on demand and without apology,” the members of Stop Patriarchy, some from as far away as New York, said she shouldn’t be charged at all. They stood and raised their fists as they left the courtroom, then chanted, “Free Anna Yocca! Free Anna Yocca!”
As you may recall, when last we wrote about Yocca, we borrowed from the brilliant insights of pro-life blogger JivinJehoshaphat. In his/her post, they demonstrated that Yocca was no scared teenager but an adult with a job and a boyfriend. The “burden” of finding an abortion clinic would have been to drive 45 minutes to Nashville.
Yocca reportedly filled a bathtub with a few inches of water, then used a coat hanger to repeatedly stab her baby. “That’s when officials said the amount of blood alarmed her, and her boyfriend took her to the emergency room at St. Thomas Rutherford hospital. “From there, she was transported to St. Thomas Mid-Town in Nashville where staff members saved ‘Baby Yocca,’”
”The whole time she was concerned for her health, her safety and never gave any attention to the health and safety to the unborn child,” Sergeant Kyle Evans told reporters in December.
According to Detective Tommy Roberts, the nurses and doctors he interviewed indicated Yocca made “disturbing statements” about the baby and wanting to terminate her pregnancy with the coat hanger at about 24 weeks,” Stockard reported.