Brigham and Riley Motions Reveal Flawed Defense Strategy in Abortion Murder Case

By Cheryl Sullenger, Senior Policy Advisor for Operation Rescue & Pro-Life Nation

Elkton, Maryland – Motions have been filed by attorneys for Steven Chase Brigham and Nicola I. Riley, who have both been charged with first degree murder for illegal abortions done on viable babies that were started in New Jersey and ended at a “secret” late-term abortion clinic in Maryland. Copies of the motions dated January 27, 2012, have been obtained by Operation Rescue.

Brigham was charged in December, 2011, with five counts of first degree murder, five counts of second degree murder and one count of conspiracy to commit murder after a 16-month Grand Jury investigation. The charges were filed under a fetal homicide law that allows for murder charges to be filed in the death of a viable baby if he or she is intentionally killed in the commission of a crime.

Abortionists immune from prosecution?

Brigham’s attorneys filed a “Motion to Dismiss Indictment” wherein Brigham claims to be immune from prosecution because the relevant law exempts licensed medical professionals “from liability for fetal death that occurs in the course of administering lawful medical care.” His attorneys claim that the statute was never meant to apply to lawful abortions.

However, Brigham’s abortions were anything but “lawful” since they were done in Maryland, a state where he was never licensed to practice medicine. The non-licensed practice of medicine is considered a crime.

Evidence babies were aborted alive

Brigham also claims that because the pre-born babies were killed in New Jersey prior to the completion of the abortion in Maryland, that Maryland has no jurisdiction. However, Maryland law provides that territorial jurisdiction can be established if essential elements of the crime occurred within the territory of Maryland.

According to records obtained by Operation Rescue through open records requests, at least one baby may have been alive at the time of the abortion in Maryland. Brigham’s own medical records in the case of D.B., an 18-year old patient whose botched 22-week abortion first drew attention to Brigham’s illegal late-term abortion enterprise, may incriminate him.

A form titled Laminaria Insertion & Induction of Fetal Demise was produced at Brigham’s Voorhees, New Jersey, facility on August 12, 2010, the day before D.B. botched surgery in Maryland. On that form, Brigham documents a pelvic exam and laminaria insertion, but the section of the form that is supposed to document an injection into the baby that would bring about fetal demise is left blank.

“Without documentation that fetal demise occurred in New Jersey, Brigham’s defense is in real trouble, in our opinion,” said Troy Newman, president of Operation Rescue and Pro-life Nation. “According to D.B.’s redacted records in our possession, D.B. was given laminaria, antibiotics, and Cytotec, a drug used to induce uterine contractions. None of these will necessarily cause the death of a baby inside the womb. Fetal injections are difficult and require a certain skill level that Brigham does not appear to possess. Without the fatal fetal injection, that baby was very likely alive at the time when Riley began the dismemberment abortion on him the next day in Elkton. That would seem to us to destroy Brigham’s argument that Maryland lacks jurisdiction in a murder case.”

Riley wants to inspect fetal remains, asks for secrecy

Riley’s attorneys have filed a motion to “inspect any specimen or specimens identified as Male Fetus Brewer.” The remains of the all the babies – save one – discovered by Elkton Police were buried in a private service on November 15, 2010. It is unknown whether “Male Fetus Brewer” was the one not interred that day.

In addition, Riley’s attorneys have filed a motion to obtain D.B.’s medical records from John Hopkins Medical Center, where D.B. received emergency surgery to repair her ruptured uterus, remove of parts of her baby that had been shoved into her abdominal cavity, and a resection of her small intestine. Riley has requested that her subpoena be filed under seal and that the records from Johns Hopkins be placed under a protective order.

“It’s no wonder that Riley wants the Johns Hopkins documents sealed. They detail extensive and avoidable injures that D.B. was lucky to survive. They certainly do not engender any sympathy for Riley,” said Newman.

A scheduling hearing has been set in Riley’s case for February 16, 2012. A hearing on motions in Brigham’s case has been slated for May 4, 2012. Brigham has asked that he be tried separately from Riley. Brigham’s case is scheduled for trial beginning on June 4, but a trial date in Riley’s case has not yet been set.

Meanwhile, Brigham remains free on a $500,000 bond. Riley was released from the Cecil County Detention Center on January 20, 2012, after posting $300,000 in bail through a bail bondsman. Both had been arrested and jailed on December 28, 2011.

Read the documents:

  • Brigham’s Motion to Dismiss
  • Riley’s Motion to Inspect and Examine Specimens
  • Riley’s Motion to File Under Seal and for a Protective Order
  • Riley’s Bail Document
  • BACKGROUND: Read “Botched Abortion Nightmare” a heavily documented article describing events that led to the current murder cases against Brigham and Riley.
  • Comments

    1. Riley’s Motion to Inspect and Examine Specimens – is this link working right?

    2. Due to the gravity of this situation, let it be known that Steven Brigham was ejected from his practice in King of Prussian, PA after much legal rangling to get him out of his office for American Women Services. He had not told his landlord of his intent to kill people when he signed his rental agreement.

      Many months of Pro Life Protests and prayers, including sidewalk counseling went into the buildup of the case against him. Attention came to his murders, and lack of proper medical equipment in that office, when a young woman was picked up by helicopter and flown to an hospital emergency room from a parking lot across the street because of a botched abortion. Even after the 9/11 tragedy and PP’s blatant call for free abortions at that time, no sympathy, nor rational thinking took hold of Dr. Brigham. He still justified the unjust killings.

      At the Montgomery County Court House I asked him how he got into this business. His answer was: “I was not a Doctor, but decided to become a doctor because I thought women should have a choice”. Now, finally, fate and God’s love has finally pinned him to the wall. Love the man, but hate his crimes. How hard is God’s Mercy on our souls. How hard to follow the Merciful Will of God. Peace be with us all.

      Let me say, that after all these years of killings, his visage has completely changed. From a young, handsome man, he has now become a victim of his own work. Peace and God’s Mercy be upon us all.

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