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BATON ROUGE, June 20, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – A former Louisiana middle school “teacher of the year” is dead after being murdered for refusing to abort their unborn baby, police say.

The Baton Rouge Police Department says 39-year-old Robert Marks had been having an affair with Lyntell Washington, who was 40.

Washington was named “Teacher of the Year” for 2014-2015 at Brookstown Middle Magnet Academy, a middle school where Marks was assistant principal.

Her friend, Melissa Mason, said that Washington had been involved with Marks for about a year, believing he was in the process of getting a divorce. Only later did she learn that he had no intention of leaving his wife.

Marks wanted Washington to abort their child, but she refused, police say.

Last week, Marks called Washington to discuss matters in person. Washington brought her three-year-old daughter along.

When Washington refused Marks' demands that she have an abortion, Marks allegedly killed her, dumped her body in a field, then left her daughter inside Washington's car in an abandoned parking lot in Baton Rouge, police say.

Police became involved after the toddler was found wandering around the parking lot alone.

A Baton Rouge Police Department report records that the girl told police, “'Mr. Robbie' hurt her mother,” who was “in the lake” and “now sleeping.”

Police found Washington's badly decomposed body in a ditch in nearby Rosedale and arrested Marks for aggravated kidnapping and child desertion.

But the East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner's Office confirmed on Wednesday that tests proved Washington died due to a gunshot to the head. Her death also caused the death of her unborn child.

Marks was charged last Friday with first-degree murder – which could carry the death penalty – as well as first-degree feticide.

“Ms. Washington was a treasured member of our team and will be remembered for the impact she had on the many lives she touched through her work in our district,” wrote school superintendent Warren Drake in a statement last Thursday.

Police spokesman L'Jean McKneely told the local CBS affiliate that Marks showed “no emotion” after the “heinous and senseless” crime.

“Anybody that can commit that type of crime to a female that is seven months pregnant with your child is something that I can't describe,” he said. “It's something that you don't have words for.”

A 2011 study published in Obstetrics and Gynecology found that “pregnancy-associated homicide and suicide are important contributors to maternal mortality.”

“Pregnancy-associated homicide victims were significantly more likely to be at the extremes of the age range and African American,” the researchers wrote.

Mark Crutcher of Life Dynamics said the threat of coerced abortion is one of the reasons “the early feminist leaders in this country were openly opposed to the legalization of abortion.”

“What abortion is, is a safety net for sexually predatory and sexually irresponsible males,” he said. “What do they do when the woman they’ve impregnated won’t jump into the net?”

Crutcher warned, “The kind of man who can be pro-choice about your baby could also be pro-choice about you.” 

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