Maryland drops murder charges against Utah abortion doctor

Tuesday , March 06, 2012 - 3:19 PM

Contributed

ELKTON, Md.-- Maryland prosecutors have dismissed murder charges against two out-of-state doctors in the death of a fetus during a 2010 procedure, citing conflicts in expert testimony.

As first reported by The Cecil Whig, State's Attorney Ellis Rollins dismissed charges Tuesday against Drs. Steven Brigham of New Jersey and Nicola Riley of Utah. They had been charged under a Maryland law that allows prosecutors to pursue murder charges in the death of a viable fetus.

In a release, Rollins says conflicts in expert testimony would keep the state from successfully prosecuting. He says the investigation remains open.

The law had not previously been used against abortion doctors. Attorneys for both doctors argued that they were immune from prosecution, but prosecutors indicated they believed any killing of a viable fetus is homicide.

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