Early on the morning of January 5, 2004, two men were driving their pickup truck past a woman walking up a Nashville street when she collapsed. Antonio Dejesus Idelfonso and Eliseo Marcelino-Quintero immediately stopped to see if they had hit her and found Tracy Owen, a 32 year old pregnant woman, lying on the road crying for help. Idelfonso told police that he responded, "Here's your help," and shot her five times in the upper body. One of the bullets struck her preborn child.
Idelfonso and Marcelino-Quintero said that they killed Tracy because they thought they had struck her with their pickup truck and feared they would get in trouble.
At the time Deputy District Attorney, Tom Thurman, told The Tennessean that the state's law applied only to any unborn child able to live outside the mother's womb.
Thankfully, as of last Friday, crimes such as these in Tennessee will now fully recognize two victims, regardless of the age of the unborn child.
With enactment of Tennessee's 2011 expanded Unborn Victims of Violence Act, prosecutors will be able to bring charges against individuals such as Idelfonso and Marcelino-Quintero and give recognition to the humanity and life of unborn children assaulted or killed in the commission of a crime.
Together with our sponsors, pro-life state Senator Mae Beavers (R-Mt. Juliet) and pro-life state Representative Joshua Evans (R-Greenbrier), Tennessee Right to Life led the effort to expand this protection.