A new law will allow for first-degree murder charges to be brought against any person who injures a child living in a pregnant woman resulting in its death after the baby is born.
Governor Pat McCrory signed and ushered in Lily’s Law, named after Lillian “Lily” Grace Broom, the daughter of Danna Fitzgerald. Danna Fitzgerald was shot in the abdomen by her estranged ex-husband, Robert Broom, when she was 27 weeks pregnant. Danna and Lily both survived the shooting, but the injuries forced an emergency delivery and Lily died weeks later as a result of complications from premature birth. Broom was charged and convicted of first-degree murder for Lily’s death.
Broom appealed with lawyers saying the state crossed the line and did not have the authority to charge Broom with first-degree murder. The charges were the first of its type for North Carolina.
Senator Shirley Randleman, one of the sponsors for Lily’s Law in the Senate and said the bill was needed to help close a loop hole and provide more clarity.
“Lillian’s tragic situation alerted us to a potential loop hole in North Carolina Law. We have Ethan’s law to protect unborn children, and this new law will provide the same protection for children who are born alive, but later die as a result of injuries inflicted prior to birth,” said the lawmaker from Surry County.
“Lily’s story is tragic and I hope no mother or child ever has to endure so much suffering,” said Governor McCrory. “This bipartisan legislation aims to protect children in the womb as well as the mother from abuse and ensures offenders of such heinous crimes are justly punished.”
Fitzgerald stood by Governor Pat McCrory’s side on Wednesday in Raleigh and watched as he signed Lily’s name into law.
Danna says it was closure almost four years in the making and now her little girl has justice.
“The justice is bittersweet. But if she can help make it a little easier, that there won’t be that fight of ‘well, we don’t have any precedence for this.’ Well, now they do and now they have the law to back it up,” Danna said tearfully.
Senators Rick Gunn and Warren Daniel also sponsored the legislation.
Lily’s Law passed both houses of the General Assembly with unanimous consent.
Reach Anthony Gonzalez at 336-835-1513 or email at email@example.com.