Many states have legislation that recognizes an unborn child when it comes to homicide laws. The killing of an unborn child can be considered homicide in these particular cases. In California, it is only in the case of a murder charge that courts will recognize the death of a fetus. Homicide law does not cover the death of an unborn child, and this applies even to accidents involving DUI charges. Since most DUI charges involving the death of another person are charged as vehicular homicide or gross vehicular homicide, many cases where an unborn child is killed in a DUI accident may not be prosecuted.
KCRA reports on a woman who was forced to give birth early to a child that didn’t survive after a suspected DUI crash. On Monday night, more than 100 people were gathered at the corner of M Street and 4th Avenue in Rio Linda. They were there to mourn the death of newborn Ricky “RJ” Monteer.
Ricky was delivered by emergency C-section last week when his mother was injured in a car accident that involved a driver who is suspected of being intoxicated. At the time of the accident, Ciara Villegas, Ricky’s mother, was just six months pregnant.
The driver who caused the accident was Ronny Ward III. He was arrested on the night of the crash and booked into the Sacramento County Jail for suspicion of driving under the influence and driving on a suspended license. Ward declined to take a breathalyzer test and opted for a blood test instead.
It could take up to 30 days to get the results.
The District Attorney’s office is still gathering evidence to determine what charges, if any, will be filed. According to the CHP, Ward was arrested for DUI back in 2014, but no charges were filed in that case. Villegas is still in the hospital, according to family. She suffered from a brain bleed, breaks in her spine, and has had to undergo surgery to repair her liver and spleen.