Re-Indictment Likely in Stillborn Baby Case
COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) — A Lowndes County judge dismisses murder charges in a controversial stillborn baby case that has attracted national attention.
But prosecutors say they likely will re-indict Rennie Gibbs under a different law.
Gibbs, who is now 24, originally was indicted for murder when she was 16 when her child was stillborn. Prosecutors said her cocaine use caused the death. After years of legal arguments, the case ended up before Judge Jim Kitchens, who dismissed the charges today.
Kitchens said the state’s murder statutes don’t apply under previous Supreme Court rulings. But he says Gibbs could be indicted under the deliberate design murder or illegal abortion laws. The deliberate design law, which includes manslaughter as a lesser-included offense, carries life in prison for a conviction. The causing an abortion statute carries up to 10 years in prison.
Assistant District Attorney Mark Jackson says he’ll present the case to the Lowndes County Grand Jury in July under the manslaughter statute.
Gibbs’ attorney Carrie Jourdan says she still hopes science will convince prosecutors not to pursue the case.