Fourth-time offender gets up to 30 years for shooting pregnant woman

Sunday Times Newspapers

LINCOLN PARK — The charges stopped short of attempted murder, but a Lincoln Park man will spend a minimum of six years and up to 30 years in prison for shooting a pregnant woman in the stomach and causing a miscarriage.

Wayne County Circuit Court Assistant Prosecutor Maria Miller said that Judge Mark T. Stevens issued on Monday consecutive sentences for Nathaniel Keith Thornton on the three charges he’d pleaded guilty to last month. Thornton was charged with assaulting and shooting at a 42-year-old woman he had argued with in November 2012. Prosecutors said Thornton had gone to the woman’s home in the 800 block of Mill Street, where they soon argued over the price of a gift card.

According to police reports, an argument escalated until Thornton pulled out a handgun and was waving it around the room. The weapon fired at least once, hitting the woman in the stomach, but evidence and testimony had not convinced arraigning 25th District Court Judge David Zelenak that it had been Thornton’s intent to murder the woman.

The woman was pregnant, and she miscarried soon after the assault when taken to Oakwood Hospital and Medical Center in Dearborn.

The issues had been debated following the original charges that included assault with intent to murder.

Instead, Thornton pleaded guilty last month to three charges — assault with intent to do great bodily harm, felony firearm and habitual offender — out of five he had been charged with, including assault causing miscarriage. Thornton was sentenced last week to sentences of two to 15 years for assault and habitual offender, and two for felony firearm; the three sentences are to be served consecutively for a mandatory minimum of six years.

The sentences mark the fourth conviction for Thornton, who served time for assault and controlled substance charges.

(James Mitchell can be reached at