Fourteenth Fort Hood victim forgotten

.- Last week, Maj. Nadil Malik Hasan was indicted on 13 counts of murder for the shootings at Fort Hood which took place on Nov. 5. Missing from the list of victims is the three-month-old unborn child of Private Francheska Velez. The Alliance Defense Fund, a legal alliance of Christian attorneys, has sent a letter to the Office of Staff Judge Advocate at Fort Hood requesting that the murder of Velez's child be included in the case against Malik.

“It would cause a severe and negative impact on morale if Army women were made to believe that the Army valued their children less than they did adult victims of crime. We respectfully request that you enforce UCMJ Article 119a against the suspect," the ADF's letter stated.

Velez, who was three months pregnant, had just returned from Iraq, and was a month away from going home to Chicago on maternity leave.

Thanks to the Uniform Code of Military Justice, Article 119a, also known as “Laci and Connor's Law,” which was signed into existence by President George W. Bush in 2004, anyone who inflicts violence upon a pregnant woman which leads to the death of the child, whether or not the perpetrator was aware the woman was pregnant, is criminally liable for the death of the child.

The law resulted from the disappearance, and subsequent death of Laci Peterson, of Modesto, Calif, who was seven months pregnant with her son Connor at the time. Laci's husband Scott was later convicted of first degree murder of his wife and second degree murder of his unborn son.

The State of Texas also passed a “Prenatal Protection Act” in 2003. They have also established a precedent as they charged a man who killed his pregnant girlfriend with a shotgun with capital murder, defined as causing the death of "more than one person... during the same criminal transaction."

Under the law, Maj. Nadil Malik Hasan can be held criminally liable for the death of Velez's child, referred to as “Baby Velez.” However, at this point in time, Army officials have only indicated that additional charges against Hasan are under consideration.


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