Mesa County District Court Judge Richard Gurley ruled that the death of a fetus delivered at eight and a half month gestation, due to a car crash is not murder under Colorado state law.
On November 6, 2007, Logan Lage was leading Colorado State Patrol on a high speed chase when he crashed head on into Shea Lenen’s SUV. She was eight and a half months pregnant. Shea’s baby was delivered by an emergency c-section. Baby Lileigh lived for about an hour before she died. The coroner ruled the death as a homicide.
The Judge’s ruling is based on Colorado law that states that since the baby was still in utero when the injuries that caused the death occurred, the baby is not considered a person and therefore there is no case for murder.
Twenty-five states, including Arizona, Georgia, Ohio and Texas now have fetal protection laws, granting unborn fetuses “person” status. Ten additional states, including California, Florida and Nevada grant unborn fetuses partial protection. Colorado is not on either list and this needs to change.
Prosecutors said they will appeal the Judge Gurley’s ruling, filing a motion on Friday morning that will send the case to the Colorado Court of Appeals. The District Attorney plans on taking the case to the Colorado Supreme Court if the appeal fails.
According to family members, Logan Lage was trying to turn his life around and feels terrible about what has happened. He remains in the Mesa County Jail on $500,000 bond and he due back in court next week.
It seems to me that Logan Lage wasn’t trying hard enough to turn his life around. If he was really trying, Lileigh was be a happy, thriving five month old baby today.