Guilty pleas entered in shooting of pregnant woman

By JAMES MITCHELL
Sunday Times Newspapers

LINCOLN PARK — A man accused of shooting a pregnant woman in the stomach pleaded guilty to three of five charges and awaits sentencing next month in Wayne County Circuit Court.

Judge Mark T. Stevens last month accepted the guilty pleas of Nathaniel Keith Thornton, who in November 2012 shot a woman he knew in the stomach and caused a miscarriage. Thornton pleaded guilty to felony firearms possession, assault with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder, and as a fourth-offense habitual offender. Thornton is scheduled to be sentenced June 24.

The charges filed against Thornton originally included assault causing miscarriage and assault with intent to murder. During pre-trial hearings in 25th District Court in December, Judge David Zelenak determined that the gunshot was prompted by an argument over money, and that the prosecution did not prove intent to murder.

According to police reports, Thornton went to the woman’s home in the 800 block of Mill Street about 11 a.m. Nov. 26, where he soon argued with the woman over the price of a gift card. The argument escalated and a firearm discharged, striking the pregnant woman in the stomach and causing a miscarriage.

Zelenak ruled that there was no evidence of any prior threat made by Thornton, and of only one round being fired. Initial reports indicated that additional shots may have been fired, but medical records revealed only the single round. Without additional evidence Zelenak dismissed a charge of intent to murder.

(James Mitchell can be reached at jmitchell@bewickpublications.com.)