Defense: Death of fetus is abortion, not murder

HASTINGS, Minn. (AP) — The attorney for an Apple Valley man accused of killing his pregnant wife argues the death of the 15-week-old fetus was an abortion, not murder.

Dakota County prosecutors say Roger Holland strangled 37-year-old Margorie Holland at their townhouse last March.

Defense attorney Marsh Halberg has filed a motion to have the murder charges dismissed. He argues the only person whose rights could have been violated was the mother, and she was already dead.

Halberg says the state’s abortion law is the proper fit for accusations against Holland. The St. Paul Pioneer Press (http://bit.ly/Hcyz15 ) says criminal abortion is an unranked offense in Minnesota, leaving the sentence up to the court’s discretion.

Prosecutor James Backstrom says the laws on abortion and the murder of an unborn child are not interchangeable.

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Information from: St. Paul Pioneer Press, http://www.twincities.com

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