ELKTON, Md., March 8 (UPI) -- A Maryland prosecutor dropped abortion-related murder charges against two doctors, citing a lack of evidence that a late-term abortion was done in the state.
Cecil County State's Attorney Edward D.E. Rollins III withdrew the charges against Nicola I. Riley and Steven C. Brigham, doctors who had been charged under Maryland's fetal homicide law, which allows prosecution for death of a fetus considered viable outside the womb, The Baltimore Sun reported.
"We know what the doctors did. We just don't know where they did it," Rollins said.
He said the charges could be reinstated.
The Sun said fetal-homicide laws have been used in Maryland in the prosecution of cases involving the homicide of a pregnant woman but never to prosecute abortion providers.
Riley and Brigham were each charged with first- and second-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder in connection with what the prosecutor had said was an Aug. 13, 2010, abortion in Elkton in northeastern Maryland involving an 18-year-old woman. Brigham was also charged with first- and second-degree murder linked to four abortions of fetuses the prosecutor had considered viable.
Rollins said an expert, who he did not identify, had said early in the investigation the termination of pregnancies and removal of the fetuses must have happened in one place but later said the termination and removal could have occurred in different places.
"We've got an expert whose testimony is useless to us because he's said two different things now," Rollins said.
As a result, Rollins said, his office could not prove the pregnancies were terminated in Maryland and thus dropped the charges.
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