New Hampshire prosecutors debate homicide charge for death of murdered woman’s preborn child

By Bridget Sielicki 

A New Hampshire woman who was 35 to 37 weeks pregnant was murdered in her home last week, and prosecutors are debating whether or not the man responsible for her death can also be charged for the death of her preborn child.

William Kelly, 38, has been charged with second-degree murder in the death of Christine Falzone, 33. Police responded to the home where the couple lived and found Falzone deceased; an autopsy revealed that she had died of blunt-force trauma. The autopsy also revealed that she had been just weeks away from giving birth. According to the Nashua Telegraph, Kelly and Falzone were dating.

In 2017, New Hampshire lawmakers passed a “fetal homicide” bill that defines a fetus as a person after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Anyone who causes the death of a fetus after that point — except through an abortion procedure — could face a homicide or manslaughter charge. Despite this law, prosecutors have not yet decided if Kelly will also face charges in the death of Falzone’s preborn child.

“So, under New Hampshire law, death of another can include any fetus, which is more than 20 weeks in gestation,” said Thomas P. Velardi, Director of Public Protection at the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office. “There could be additional charges as we evaluate whether the death of Miss Falzone is the proximate cause of the death of the fetus.”

In speaking with WMUR, Patricia LaFrance, a legal expert, indicated that the state has an uphill battle in determining whether Kelly should face additional charges. “You would have to have some time of evidence to show, up until the time of the mother’s death, that unborn child was alive and doing well,” LaFrance said. “I would assume an autopsy on the fetus to say, just like as they did with the woman, the cause of death was blunt force trauma, they would have to show that the cause of death was homicide.”

Homicide is the leading cause of death among pregnant women in the United States, and most of these homicides are linked to domestic violence situations. Recently there have been an increasing number of situations in which men have killed their pregnant partners; in many of these incidents, the perpetrator was quickly charged with two murders. However, this is not always the case — in pro-abortion Connecticut, one family is fighting for a double homicide charge in the death of their pregnant loved one.

Editor’s note. This appeared at Live Action News and reposted with permission. …