Battle Over Definition of a Person Could Reach Capitol

By: Kieran Wilson Email
By: Kieran Wilson Email

The District Attorney's office plans to file additional charges for the death of the baby, against the man accused of killing pregnant Anna Macias. They say Lonnie Herrera will be facing child abuse resulting in death, and possibly felony murder, but in a recent case similar to Macias case, charges pertaining to the death of an infant were dismissed.

District Attorney Pete Hautzinger says about having two similar cases, "I think it’s incredibly ironic and tragic that in this relatively small community we have 2 cases of this nature crop up over the span of half a year." He says in both the case of Logan Lage and Lonnie Herrera, a criminal act lead to the premature birth and death of a child and that's why Hautzinger thinks both suspects should be charged for the baby's death.

State Representative Steve Kings says that right now, "there's no accountability or no punishment for the perpetrator of that death." 24-year-old Logan Lage is accused of fleeing from State Patrol when he crashed head on into an SUV driven by Shea Lehnen who was eight and a half months pregnant at the time. After the accident Lehnen's baby was delivered by emergency c-section and died hours later.

Lage was charged with first degree murder, vehicular homicide and child abuse, along with four other charges relating to the baby's death; but a mesa county judge dropped those charges in March. The DA’s office has already filed an appeal, Hautzinger says, " regardless of what happens with the Lage appeal, or with this case, I'm more convinced that the legislature needs to do something about this."

Colorado is one of only 13 states that doesn't have some form of fetal homicide law. Some states define a person from the moment of conception and others say it's a person in the third trimester.

King says that with these two homicide cases, something needs to be done,
"on behalf of the people of Colorado, that's an issue that needs to be addressed and defined." The DA’s office is waiting to hear from the court of appeals on Lage's charges, Hautzinger says that no matter what happens with Lage and Herrera, he still plans to push for new legislation, because he says someone needs to be held responsible.

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