Tuscaloosa authorities have charged a suspect in a fatal New Year's Day wreck with the murder of an unborn child.
Thursday, Tuscaloosa Metro Homicide Unit investigators announced that KiAnthony Davis will face a murder charge for the death of Shakevia Washington's unborn child.
Authorities accuse Davis of killing Washington, 22, and Evelyn Page, 45, in a New Year's Day vehicle accident. He also faces two charges of murder in their deaths and an assault charge for injuring another person during the wreck.
The wreck happened at 15th Street and McFarland Boulevard around 3 a.m. Jan. 1. Authorities believe that alcohol and excessive speed played a part in the accident.
Davis initially fled the scene of the accident but turned himself in later in the day. He had a message for the families at the time.
"I'm sorry, y'all. I promise I am. Don't hold no grudges," he told a FOX6 News photographer.
Page's family later said they aren't holding any grudges against Davis.
"I forgive him for it, because I know if I don't forgive him, God won't forgive me," Page's sister, Maggie Johnson, said.
"She loved everybody," Sarita Mungin, Page's niece said. "And so we have to be strong for [Davis] as well as strong for the other young lady that lost her life and be strong for our family too."
Davis remains in custody at the Tuscaloosa County Jail.
This is the first time that anyone has been charged in Tuscaloosa County with killing an unborn child.
We spoke to retired Circuit Judge Joe Colquitt to get some legal insight into how investigators go about charging suspects this way. Colquitt is now a professor at the University of Alabama's School of Law. Colquitt says in 2006, state lawmakers redefined the definition of murder to include the deaths of unborns as well.
"A person was redefined as either being a human being or a fetus that was in uterio and regardless of viability," Colquitt said. "It would be any state of development."
Colquitt says in some states fetal homicide crimes are treated as separate crimes. In essense, the state of Alabama took out those additional steps.
"Alabama took the easiest way. You just redefine person and that's the simpliest way to do it," Colquitt added. "It leaves the crime intact."
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