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Texas Man Gets Two Charges for Beating Pregnant Girlfriend, Killing Baby

by Steven Ertelt Editor
July 25
, 2008

McKinney, TX ( -- The Texas law that pro-life advocates put in place to protect pregnant women and their unborn children from acts of violence is coming into play again. Another Texas man has been charged under the unborn victims law that allows justice for both mother and child.

In this new case, Brian Christopher Canaday, a 22-year-old McKinney resident, has received two charges for assaulting his pregnant girlfriend and killing her unborn child.

In May, Canaday allegedly choked 22-year-old Stephanie Mohammad during the assault and she blacked out.

After the attack, Mohammad went to her parents home, where she had a miscarriage. After going to Centennial Medical Center of Frisco, doctors said her unborn baby had died.

Mohammad was about 10 weeks pregnant at the time of the attack and Texas law allows prosecutors to bring charges for anyone who assaults a pregnant woman and kills or injures her unborn child.

Elizabeth Graham, of Texas Right to Life, told the McKinney Courier-Gazette that the law is doing what it is designed to do -- which is hold criminals accountable for killing or hurting mother and child and acknowledging two victims.

“The law is working according to legislative intent,” she said.

“Pregnant women are the most victimized group through domestic violence, we hope that this prosecution serves as a deterrent and helps protect pregnant women and their unborn children," Graham added.

On November 21 the Court of Criminal Appeals, Texas' highest criminal court, unanimously upheld a conviction for the homicide of an unborn child by a third party against the mother's wishes.

The case, Lawrence v. Texas, involved the double murder of a pregnant women and an unborn child.

Though abortion advocates have said unborn victims laws would undermine legal abortions, the court said that wasn't the case.

Presiding Judge Sharon Keller wrote that Roe v. Wade has "no application to a statute that prohibits a third party from causing the death of the woman's unborn child against her will."

"The [Texas] Legislature is free to protect the lives of those whom it considers to be human beings. This is a policy decision that is properly reserved to the democratic process, and should not be subject to judicial second-guessing," she said.


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