New law to protect unborn goes in effect

Published: Dec. 1, 2011 at 3:32 AM EST|Updated: Dec. 31, 2011 at 4:23 AM EST
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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - This coming month, 35 new laws are set to go into effect in North Carolina.

One in particular is a law that holds a person responsible if an unborn child is killed during an attack.

It is called the North Carolina Unborn Victims of Violence Act.

When former Carolina Panther Rae Carruth faced conspiracy charges in the death of his then pregnant girlfriend Cherika Adams, she was the only victim in the crime, according to state law.

Jeff Gerber is big supporter of the new law.

"Rae Carruth would have most likely been charged with two counts of conspiracy to commit murder versus one,"he said. "Rae Carruth's intention was not only to murder Cherika Adams but their unborn child Chancellor as well in order to avoid paying child support."

For the last couple of years Gerber has been very vocal on his personal blog seeking passage of the bill protecting not only mothers, but the unborn as well.

Former Mecklenburg County Assistant District Attorney Steve Ward applauds the new law that goes on books starting December 1st.

He says when prosecutors enter the court room they now have a new tool in seeking justice for innocent victims.

Ward told WBTV, "In the past the law had been that the fetus had to be born alive and then die before you could charge a homicide. Now you can charge a homicide from the mere fact that the fetus dies as an intentional act by the suspect in the case."

Gerber was part of a group called the Justice For All Coalition, and says what's happening in our state is part of a national trend.

He said, "Yes we are the 25th state to implement the victims of violence bill."

The new law goes into effect on December 1st.

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