Trial Set in Slaying of Woman and Fetus

Trial Set in Slaying of Woman and Fetus

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FARMINGTON, Utah (AP) -- Trial has been set for September for a Sunset man charged with two counts of aggravated murder in the slayings of his ex-wife and her fetus.

Judge Michael G. Allphin set the trial for Roger Martin MacGuire, 50, to begin Sept. 14, following jury beginning Sept. 7.

The trial originally was set for October 2001, but the case instead went to the state Supreme Court over the issue of whether the death of a 13- to 15-week-old fetus could be charged as a homicide.

The high court handed down a 4-1 ruling in January upholding the charge.

The majority cited a 1983 state statute that that a person may be prosecuted for causing the death of a human being, including an unborn child, and a later amendment that said the 1983 law applied to a fetus at any stage of its development.

Prosecutors contended MacGuire was angry about his ex-wife's pregnancy by her fiance and deliberately aimed at the fetus inside her.

Susan Lynn Christensen MacGuire, 38, of South Ogden was killed on Jan. 15, 2001, while she was at work at a Layton Allstate Insurance office.

Of the four shots fired, two hit woman in the abdomen. Another struck her in the left forearm, while another hit her in the back of the head.

Prosecutors are not seeking the death penalty. If MacGuire is convicted, the jury will decide whether the life sentence he receives will be with or without the possibility of parole.

MacGuire has been held in the Davis County Jail without bail since Jan. 15, 2001.

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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