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IE woman charged with killing unborn fetus

April 27, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
A local woman accused of causing the death of her aunt's unborn fetus appeared in court Wednesday on a murder charge. Police have been investigating the incident since it happened five months ago and Monday arrested the woman. The woman is being held at a jail in Rancho Cucamonga.

Nieshia Johnson, 27, is accused of killing her aunt's unborn child. It all happened on November 13, 2010, at the Landmark Apartments in Ontario.

Johnson was babysitting her aunt's children when apparently they started misbehaving. Ontario Police say Johnson used a belt to whip the kids.

When her aunt found out about that, detectives say she was furious, so she confronted Johnson. What started out as a verbal argument between Johnson and her aunt then turned physical. Police say Johnson used her knee to strike her aunt in the stomach. Her aunt was 4 months pregnant at the time.

She survived, but her unborn baby did not.

"It's obviously disturbing. It's a loss of life, and it's the whole family that's affected and involved in this case," said Ontario Police Detective Jeff Crittenden.

Police investigated the incident for several months before arresting Johnson on murder charges on Monday.

"Based on case law, if the fetus is more than 8 weeks old, we can see it as a human fetus and file charges for being a human being," said Crittenden.

Johnson pleaded not guilty to murder charges Wednesday morning.

Johnson was held on $1.2 million bail at West Valley Detention Center.