Man sentenced to life in prison for murder of woman and her preborn child

A man from Macon, Georgia, has been sentenced to life in prison for the 2021 murder of a pregnant woman and her preborn child.

Jeremiah Waller Jr., 41, pled guilty to the shooting death of Patricia Gamboa. At the time of her death, Gamboa was pregnant. After an autopsy revealed the pregnancy, Waller, who was already in police custody for the murder, was given the additional charge of feticide, which is voluntary manslaughter of a preborn child. In addition to her preborn baby, Gamboa was also mother to a two-year-old.

According to WGXA, Gamboa was in a van with friends when they found a missing car that belonged to one of their party. They called the police and waited inside their van for authorities to arrive. At that time, Waller came out from a house across the street and shot at their vehicle, striking Gamboa in the head and killing her. Gamboa’s friends attempted to drive her to the hospital but she died on the way.

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“Our hearts go out to the victim’s family for the loss of their loved one and for the life that was lost even before it had yet begun,” said District Attorney Anita R. Howard in a statement. “We particularly grieve for the small child who is left to grow up without a mother because of the heinous actions of this Defendant. We can only hope that this family can come together to find some amount of closure for this senseless violence in our community. We greatly praise the efforts of the victim’s friends and all the emergency staff who endeavored to save these lives.”

Georgia is one of 38 states that has a feticide law. According to state law, a person can be sentenced to life in prison for causing the death of a preborn child by felony injury or murder of the mother. Georgia’s abortion law allows the intentional killing of preborn children up until a child’s heartbeat is detectable.

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