Ohio man in attempted forced-abortion case gets 13 years

Reuters News
Posted: Jun 09, 2011 6:23 PM
Ohio man in attempted forced-abortion case gets 13 years

CHICAGO (Reuters) - A man convicted of attempted murder under Ohio's fetal homicide law after he tried to force his girlfriend to get an abortion at gunpoint was sentenced on Thursday to 13 years in prison.

Dominic L. Holt-Reid, 28, was charged last October under the 1996 statute, which defines the unlawful termination of a pregnancy as murder. He pleaded guilty to the charge in April.

According to prosecutors, Yolanda Burgess, Holt-Reid's 26-year-old girlfriend and the mother of one of his six children, had initially agreed to terminate the pregnancy.

But when Burgess changed her mind on the day the procedure was scheduled, Holt-Reid, a felon out on parole for a federal drug conviction, allegedly pulled a handgun and forced her to drive to the abortion clinic, where he accompanied her inside, the gun hidden in his waistband.

Burgess was able to pass a note, however, to clinic employees, alerting them to her plight. They called police, who arrested Holt-Reid and charged him with attempted murder, abduction and several weapons offenses.

Burgess has since given birth to the child.

A judge in Franklin County sentenced Holt-Reid on Thursday to 13 years in prison -- five for the attempted fetal homicide charge, five for the abduction charge and three for the weapons charge, County Prosecutor Ron O'Brien told Reuters.

Holt-Reid had faced up to 20 years in prison and could have been forced to pay up to $35,000 in fines, O'Brien said.

(Reporting by James B. Kelleher; Editing by Jerry Norton)