An Alabama man went on trial this week for allegedly murdering his ex-girlfriend’s fetus, The Birmingham News is reporting. Christopher Ammons Kemp faces the death penalty if convicted.
Deputy District Attorney Neal Zarzour described Kemp as a “jilted boyfriend” who was being “pushed out.” He says Kemp took out his rage not on his ex-girlfriend, Jessica Jackson, but rather on her unborn baby, of which he was the father.
The two had had an on-again, off-again relationship since high school, during which time they had other relationships. Kemp had fathered a daughter, while Jackson had gotten married and divorced. In 2015, Jackson allowed Kemp and his daughter to move into her home.
It wasn’t long before Jackson began to be afraid of Kemp. She kicked him out multiple times, and let him back in multiple times. At some point during all of this, she became pregnant with Kemp’s baby. She also maintained a platonic relationship with her ex-husband.
On New Year’s Eve 2015, Jackson said that Kemp fired a gun outside her home. That motivated her to finally kick Kemp out for good, and with the help of her father, she changed the locks on her home. She also cut off all contact with Kemp, allowing him to only contact her via email.
By March 6, the day of her baby shower, Jackson had told Kemp of her plans to give the baby her own last name and had tried to discuss custody and co-parenting arrangements with Kemp. Jackson’s ex-husband, meanwhile, had been helping to paint the nursery and, on the day of the shower, helped bring boxes of gifts inside.
The alleged assault happened 10 days later, on March 16. Jackson came home from work, prosecutors say, to find Kemp there waiting for her. He allegedly began choking her, although Jackson fought back, to no avail. He also allegedly kicked and beat Jackson, paying particular attention to her abdomen, in order to injure the fetus.
The fetus suffered lacerated organs, displaced ribs, fractured bones, and a fractured skull. She died at a hospital. Jackson survived.
Kemp, meanwhile, allegedly admitted to the crime to a friend on Facebook.
“I didn’t want to hurt her, just the baby.”
Kemp’s attorney, John Robbins, doesn’t deny that his client did what he’s accused of. However, he says his client “just snapped.” He is angling for Kemp to be charged not with murder, but with a lesser charge of manslaughter.
If convicted, Kemp faces the death penalty.