Under-the-Radar Violence in the Conflict Over Abortion

Posted on Sunday, September 9, 2012 in Reports

Hill, Kimberly Diane | 24 | 1989 | AL | Abortion Motive Self-Evident
The body of Ms. Hill was found hog tied with telephone cords. She had been beaten and stabbed 21 times and a towel was stuffed down her throat in an apparent attempt to muffle her screams. It was later revealed that she was pregnant by Joseph Ward Gentry, her co-worker at a Birmingham bank. In a taped confession, Gentry told police that he killed Ms. Hill because her pregnancy posed a threat to his career and marriage. He originally received the death penalty but it was overturned on appeal and replaced with a lesser sentence. [The Birmingham News 1-25-2007 • Supreme Court of Alabama No. 1970962]

Jackson, Sharon | 32 | 1993 | PA | Abortion Motive Confirmed
Harvey Colvin intentionally ran over Ms. Jackson with her own car. Prosecutors determined that, at the time of her death, she was pregnant with Colvin’s baby and that the two were fighting over her refusal to have an abortion. In 1994, he pleaded guilty to manslaughter and was given 50 years in the state penitentiary. [The Philadelphia Inquirer 7-30-1993 / 12-23-1994]

Johnson, Tonya M. | 36 | 2009 | TN | Abortion Motive Confirmed
Tarence L. Nelson was convicted on two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of Ms. Johnson and their unborn child. Investigators say Nelson was angry that she would not have an abortion and decided to kill her. Ms. Johnson was shot in the head and in the abdomen, reinforcing the prosecution’s claim that he was trying to kill both mother and child. In 2011, Nelson was given two life sentences. [Greenfield Daily Reporter
6-27-2011 • WMC-TV 9-27-2009 • My Fox Memphis 9-28-2009]

Lovato, Sarah Marie | 17 | 2009 | NM | Abortion Motive Self-Evident
Charged in the double homicide of Ms. Lovato and her father is Marino Leyba, Jr. Police investigators say that Ms. Lovato was pregnant with Leyba’s baby and that his motive for shooting her was his anger over her decision to carry the pregnancy to term. Apparently, her father was killed simply because he was present at the murder scene. [The New Mexican 4-26-2010 / 7-6-2010]

Lyons, Ashley Renee | 18 | 2004 | KY | Abortion Motive Confirmed
Ms. Lyons was pregnant with the child of Roger McBeath when he shot her twice in the head and once in the neck. Investigators say that McBeath had told Ms. Lyons to have an abortion but she refused. They say he then solicited people to physically assault her and cause a miscarriage. During his trial, it was also revealed that he had called a former girlfriend of his who worked in a hospital emergency room and asked her about the availability of abortion-causing pills or other products. In 2009, McBeath confessed to killing Ms. Lyons and was given a 42-year prison sentence. [Associated Press State & Local Wire 9-22-2004 • Lexington Herald Leader 3-31-2004 / 10-26-2004 • WKYT-TV 8-4-2009]

Mackey, Rochelle M. | 27 | 2005 | CA | Abortion Motive Confirmed
Witnesses state that when Conroy James Hayes learned that Ms. Mackey was pregnant with his child, he warned her that she “better have” an abortion because he did not want a baby. She was upset by Hayes’ demand and told him to leave her apartment. Two days later, he shot her to death. In 2006, he was convicted of her murder and given a 64-year prison sentence. [NewsBank Info Web 8-25-2005 • Bakersville.com news
3-27-2009 • California Court of Appeals Fifth Appellate District Superior Court No. BF110986A]