A teenager who pleaded guilty to killing his girlfriend, 17, and their unborn baby because “she left it too late for an abortion” was sentenced on Tuesday to 65 years in prison.
Last December, Aaron Trejo confessed to fatally stabbing his classmate, Breana Rouhselang, who was six months pregnant, in the heart and then concealing her body in a dumpster with a black plastic bag, before throwing her phone and the weapon into a river.
Trejo told police he had stabbed Breana because he was angry that she had waited so long to tell him about the pregnancy and it was too late for an abortion.
“I took action… I took her life,” he told South Bend Detective Gery Mullins, according to charging documents obtained by Fox News.
He further revealed that “he had been planning and thinking about killing Breana Rouhselang and the baby for about a week and had not told anybody”.
Superior Court Judge Elizabeth Hurley handed Trejo a 55-year sentence for murder and a 10-year sentence for feticide. The sentences will run consecutively, with no time suspended.
“You took her life in one of the most savage and violent manners I have seen in my career,” Hurley told Trejo before announcing her sentence.
“I thought it was very important for there to be consecutive sentences, one after the other, because there were two lives lost and two lives intentionally taken,” Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Chris Fronk said.
He added: “The goal of the defendant, in this case, was to kill the child, and Breana was in the way of that, so he killed her in order to accomplish that”.
Breana’s family and friends fought back tears outside the courtroom, several of them dressed in shirts that read “Justice for Bre” in blue lettering with a picture of Breana on the back.
Breana’s mother, Melissa Wallace told the court: “All I just want to say is I’m glad we got justice for Bre, but no amount of time will ever replace what he took from me”.
“All I can say is I miss her a lot,” said a friend, Jasmine Sills. “She was like my sister.”
Research has found a strong link between pregnant women facing abuse, and pressure on them to abort their unborn children.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found that murder is a leading cause of death among pregnant women.
Over 3,500 women and girls in the United States were murdered in 2015 and more than half of them were killed by current partners or former partners. 15 percent of those women were pregnant at the time of their death. In all, 20 percent of women who die during pregnancy are victims of homicide.
Last year, a man who killed his ex-girlfriend’s unborn child during an attack in south-east London was jailed for life. Kevin Wilson, 22, kicked and stamped on Malorie Bantala’s stomach when she was eight months pregnant with his son after she refused to have an abortion. He was found guilty of child destruction and GBH.
Former American Football player Rae Carruth was released after spending 18 years in prison for hiring two men to kill his pregnant girlfriend, Cherica Adams. Cherica was shot multiple times and died a month later. Her son was born prematurely and has cerebral palsy as a result of the ordeal.
In 2017, 31-year-old pregnant Maryland teacher Laura Wallen was killed by her boyfriend. A few days after she went missing, another pregnant Maryland woman was doused in gasoline and set on fire by her boyfriend. She survived.