Featured Image
New Hampshire man William KellyYouTube/Screenshot

(Live Action) — A New Hampshire man has been indicted on charges of murdering both a pregnant woman and her preborn child, marking the first time the state’s fetal homicide charge has been used.

Last year, William Kelly was charged with second-degree murder for the death of Christine Falzone, who was 35 to 37 weeks pregnant at the time. The state passed a law in 2017 allowing anyone who causes the death of a preborn child after 20 weeks gestation to be charged with fetal homicide. According to a press release from the New Hampshire Department of Justice, Kelly has been indicted on two charges of second-degree murder. He is expected to plead not guilty.

READ: France’s constitutional abortion amendment is a grave injustice against the unborn

Kelly has a long criminal history, including sexual assault charges against children. He is a registered sex offender, and his other criminal convictions include charges of domestic violence, assault, child endangerment, and drug possession. It’s not known if Kelly was the father of Falzone’s child, but it is estimated that she was just two weeks away from giving birth at the time of her murder.

The cause of death, according to an autopsy, was multiple blunt force injuries, meaning she was likely beaten to death.

Previously, prosecutors said they would need to determine if the death of Falzone’s baby was due to the injuries she suffered. “So, under New Hampshire law, death of another can include any fetus, which is more than 20 weeks in gestation,” Thomas P. Velardi, director of Public Protection at the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office, previously explained. “There could be additional charges as we evaluate whether the death of Miss Falzone is the proximate cause of the death of the fetus.” Presumably, the autopsy did confirm that the murder of Falzone also directly caused the death of her child.

READ: Spain could be the next European nation to enshrine abortion in its constitution

Violence during pregnancy is disturbingly common; homicide is known to be a leading cause of death for pregnant women. Women are more likely to be murdered during pregnancy than they are to die from the three leading obstetric causes of death (high blood pressure disorders, hemorrhage, and sepsis).

Reprinted with permission from Live Action.