Mom of girl killed in shooting will be paralyzed


CENTENNIAL | The Colorado woman who lost her 6-year-old daughter in the Aurora theater shooting and suffered a miscarriage is expected to be paralyzed as a result of her injuries, a family member said Monday.

A poster in memory of Veronica Moser-Sullivan, 6, is shown at the memorial to victims of the Aurora, Colo., movie theater shooting, Friday, July 27, 2012. It was a week ago Friday that a gunman opened fire during a late-night showing of “The Dark Knight Rises” Batman movie, killing 12 and injuring dozens of others. Police have identified the suspected shooter as James Holmes, 24. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

MaryEllen Hansen said that doctors still hope her niece, Ashley Moser, will have use of her arms.

Moser’s daughter, Veronica Moser-Sullivan, was the youngest person slain in the July 20 shooting. On Saturday, Moser’s family announced that Moser had suffered a miscarriage related to the trauma of the shooting. Moser suffered gunshot wounds to the neck and abdomen.

Hansen said Monday that Moser was aware of both her daughter’s death and the miscarriage. She added that a funeral for Veronica has been delayed until her mother is able to attend, and that there’s no estimate on when that will be.

James Holmes, 24, was charged Monday with multiple murder and attempted murder counts in the case.

Hansen spoke at the courthouse where Holmes was charged with 142 criminal counts.

After the hearing, she said she thought Holmes appeared coherent and alert and that he had a “persona of evilness.”

Holmes was not charged in connection with the miscarriage. Karen Steinhauser, a former prosecutor who is an adjunct professor at the University of Denver, told The Associated Press on Sunday homicide charges in Colorado only apply to those “who had been born and alive.”

“Legally, it doesn’t fit the definition” in this case, she said.

Moser’s miscarriage could rekindle a debate about whether to allow prosecutors to charge people with killing a pregnant woman’s fetus.

Last year, El Paso County Rep. Mark Waller proposed a bill to create new felony charges, such as unlawful termination of a pregnancy, in the first, second and third degrees. A fourth-degree charge would be a misdemeanor. The bill also would have created an offense for vehicular unlawful termination of a pregnancy.

Waller’s proposal stated that it didn’t “confer the status of ‘person'” to an unborn child. It also included language saying people wouldn’t be charged in cases where a mother consents to medical care.

The Republican lawmaker said pressure from both sides of the abortion debate forced him to abandon the proposal, though he insisted the bill was about adequately prosecuting cases.