Monday October 4, 2010

Police Thwart Murder-for-Hire of Ex-Girlfriend and Unborn Child

By Peter J. Smith

SCOTIA, New York, October 4, 2010 ( – A 21-year-old New York man is under arrest for plotting to hire an assailant to stab his former girlfriend’s unborn child to death, and even murder her in the process, for the price of $500 and a brand new washing machine.

The Albany Times Union reports that State Police were able to intervene in Alexei S. Ramey’s murder-for-hire plot by having an undercover investigator pose as the willing assailant. According to the criminal complaint in Scotia Village Court, Ramey gave the undercover agent a picture and address of the 19-year-old woman, who was eight months pregnant.

Ramey sealed the deal by paying what he supposed was his hit man the $500 and the washing machine.

The Times Union reported that District Attorney Robert Carney said he had never seen a murder for hire involving “hardware.” Ramey faces charges of felonious conspiracy in the fourth and second degree. Carney added that Ramey’s principal target was his former girlfriend’s unborn child, but he “didn’t care if she died in the process.”

Ramey goes back to court for trial October 5.

U.S. studies have shown that homicide is a leading cause of death among pregnant women.

A 2001 study by doctors Isabelle Horon and Diana Cheng and published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) reported the “disturbing finding that a pregnant or recently pregnant woman is more likely to be a victim of homicide than to die of any other cause.”

The study said that out of 247 pregnancy-associated deaths recorded in Maryland between 1993-1998, 20 percent were due to homicide, making it the number one cause of maternal death. Second was cardiovascular disease, accounting for 19 percent of maternal deaths.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention followed up with a separate study in 2005 and reported in the March 2005 edition of the American Journal of Public Health that homicide accounted for 31 percent of traumatic maternal deaths. Only automobile accidents counted for more, at 44 percent.

Still, researchers said the number of maternal deaths due to homicide is likely higher, since not all states have adequate tracking of the causes of maternal death.

The CDC identified women younger than 20 years, Black, and with late or no prenatal care as having a higher risk for becoming victims of homicide.

Violence against women carrying unborn children unwanted by boyfriends, spouses, partners, etc. was one of the leading factors behind the United States federal Unborn Victims of Violence Act in 2003, which classifies the unborn child as a separate victim when crimes are committed against the mother within federal jurisdiction.

See related coverage by

Houston Mom Shielded Unborn Baby while Stabbed to Death

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