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Whoever killed a pregnant woman will not be charged with two counts of murder
By: Lynette Adams | WHEC.com
The murder of a pregnant woman is raising questions about her unborn baby.
The body of Amelia Rivera-Castoire was found in the town of Richmond. Someone had killed her and set her body on fire. Rivera-Castoire was eight months pregnant.
So what does the law say in a case like this? Will a suspect be held responsible for the baby’s death as well?
New York State does not have a law that answers that question. Based on the law in this state, an unborn baby is not considered a victim of a crime.
“He killed two persons, an unborn and my sister, my only sister.” Maria Rivera is crying out for justice for her sister.
Amelia Rivera-Castoire was murdered last weekend. Her body left on the side of a rural road in Ontario County on fire. She was eight months pregnant with her first boy.
“She was a human being. She didn’t deserve to die like this and neither the baby.” Rivera says the killer should be held responsible for two deaths. But when investigators make an arrest, the suspect won’t be held responsible for her unborn nephew’s death.
Monroe County First Assistant District Attorney Sandra Doorley explains. “Under our law there is only one victim of a homicide here. In order for a baby to be considered the victim of a homicide, it would have to have been born and been alive and at least taken one breath in order for there to be a second victim.”
Rivera says her sister was due to deliver in four weeks. “This is something the legislature should certainly revisit. Especially in this case where the woman was eight months pregnant. Many women give birth at eight months and have viable infants.”
New York is one of 12 states that do not have laws which address the death of a fetus due to the murder of its mother.
“This whole issue has come down to the battle between pro-life and pro-choice.” Fairport Assemblyman David Koon says there is a bill in the state assembly that would make it a double homicide if someone kills a woman and she is at least seven months pregnant.
However he says it may be tough to pass because it is tied to abortion and a woman’s right to choose. “It’s a whole societal thing and it comes down to us trying to make some kind of decision in Albany that will appease both sides and there is no way that we can do that.”
The sponsor of this bill is finishing out his term and not coming back to the state assembly in January so unless someone else picks it up, it could be in trouble. However Assemblyman Koon says he will pick up this bill no one else does.
Anyone with information about Castoire’s murder is urged to call the Ontario County Sheriff’s Office at 1-800-394-4560.
For more Rochester, N.Y. news go to our website http://www.whec.com/.