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Testimony change led to dismissal in abortion case

Wednesday - 3/7/2012, 4:57pm  ET

By SARAH BRUMFIELD
Associated Press

BALTIMORE - A Maryland prosecutor says he had to drop murder charges against two abortion doctors after learning that an expert witness expected to testify that the fetuses were terminated in the county would change his testimony.

Cecil County State's Attorney Ellis Rollins said Wednesday, a day after he dismissed all charges against Drs. Steven Brigham of New Jersey and Nicola Riley of Utah, that prosecutors could have proven that the fetuses were viable, but they could no longer refute that terminations occurred elsewhere.

A 2005 Maryland law allows prosecutors to pursue murder charges in the death of a viable fetus, but until this case it had only been used when defendants were accused of assaulting or killing pregnant women.

Rollins says prosecutors will review evidence to see if they missed anything.


(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)