Marshae Jones won’t faces charges after all.
Jones, whose fetus died after she was shot in the stomach during a fight with another woman, had been charged with manslaughter by a Jefferson County grand jury, which determined that she was responsible for the fight that led to the shooting. On Wednesday, however, Jefferson County Bessemer Cutoff District Attorney Lynniece Washington said her office would not be prosecuting Jones.
“After reviewing the facts of this case and applicable state law, I have determined that it is not in the best interest of justice to pursue prosecution of Ms. Jones on the manslaughter charge for which she was indicted,” Washington said, in a prepared statement. “Therefore, I am hereby dismissing this case, and no further legal action will be taken.”
Washington also pointed out that there “are no winners, only losers, in this sad case.”
Jones and another woman, Ebony Jemison, had a physical altercation in the parking lot of a Pleasant Grove Dollar General. Pleasant Grove police determined that Jones initiated the fight, which ended when Jemison fired a single gunshot that struck Jones in the stomach.
Jones was five-months pregnant at the time, and the bullet killed the fetus she was carrying.
Alabama forbids prosecuting a mother whose baby dies, but that didn’t stop a Jefferson County grand jury from indicting Jones — after refusing to indict Jemison — on manslaughter charges.
National outrage quickly followed, and Wednesday’s announcement by Washington was closely watched, with several national news networks carrying the press conference live.
“We are gratified the District Attorney evaluated the matter and chose not to proceed with a case that was neither reasonable nor just,” Jones’ attorneys said in a statement released by the Birmingham firm of White, Arnold & Dowd. “The District Attorney’s decision will help Marshae continue to heal from this tragic event and work to rebuild her life in a positive and productive way.”