News Law and Policy

“Feticide” Adds Up to 20 Years On a Murder Charge

Robin Marty

An Indiana man is looking at an extended prison sentence due to murdering his pregnant wife.

Tyler White is already being sentenced to at least 45 years in prison for shooting his estranged wife during a custody handoff of their son.  Now, a jury has ruled that the shooting that caused her death also caused the death of her 12 week fetus, and has found him guilty of “feticide,” too.

Via the Journal Gazette:

Tuesday morning, prosecutors called two doctors to the stand – one who gave Amy White an ultrasound roughly two weeks before her death and another who performed her autopsy.

Both testified she was about 12 weeks pregnant when she died, with the pathologist saying her death caused the death of her unborn child, a boy.

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James Voyles, White’s Indianapolis-based defense attorney, objected to the witnesses and argued that the state law, as written, is unconstitutional.

The law, which took effect in 2009 after a pregnant bank teller in Indianapolis lost her unborn children in a shooting during a robbery, does not require the perpetrator to know the victim is pregnant to be applied.

“It prevents an individual in that circumstance to have a reasonable defense,” Voyles told the jury Tuesday morning.

Unlike Monday, when jurors deliberated for nearly six hours in deciding White’s guilt of murder, it took only a few minutes for them to return a decision that his wife was indeed pregnant and that he should face an enhanced prison sentence.

White will now receive an additional 6 to 20 years to his prison term.

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