Suspect in Baltimore double slaying charged under new law
BALTIMORE (AP) — The suspect in the slaying of a mother and her toddler in Baltimore last week is facing a charge that was recently codified and targets violence against pregnant women.
Devon Sample is facing murder, assault and gun counts, as well as a charge of committing a crime of violence against a pregnant woman. The Baltimore Sun reported Monday that charge is known as Laura and Reid’s Law, which was passed by the Maryland General Assembly in 2019, and carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.
Police in Baltimore have accused Sample, 24, of killing Shiand Miller and her 3-year-old daughter, Shaniya Gilmore. The bodies of the mother and daughter were found Friday in a parked car in southwest Baltimore. Both suffered gunshot wounds.
Police said Miller was eight months pregnant with Sample’s unborn son. Sample was arrested Saturday.
The newspaper reported the 2019 law is the result of an effort spurred by lawmakers and the family of Laura Wallen, who was allegedly killed by the father of her unborn son in 2017. The man who was charged in her death killed himself while awaiting trial in 2018.
The office of State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby said Sample is the first person charged with the new offense as part of a murder case.
Sen. Justin Ready, a Carroll County Republican, sponsored the bill that became law. He said he believes prosecutors should be able to further punish people who harm or kill pregnant women.
“It’s giving a prosecutor more tools to go after someone who has done something like this,” Ready said.
Court records do not list an attorney for Sample.