- Keith Fagundes, a prosecutor in California’s Kings County, lost his primary on June 9.
- Fagundes accused Adora Perez and Chelsea Becker of murder and claimed they caused their stillbirths.
- Fagundes’ challenger campaigned against the charges, which were also criticized by the California AG.
Keith Fagundes, the California district attorney who filed murder charges against two women he alleged caused their stillbirths by using drugs while pregnant, was removed from office during the state’s primary on June 9. .
Fagundes lost his seat as Kings County DA to challenger Sarah Hacker with at least 15% of the vote, ABC30 reported.
The cases of Chelsea Becker and Adora Perez, who both had stillbirths after battling drug addiction while pregnant, were at the center of the election. Despite California law specifically excluding pregnant people from being charged with murdering their own fetus, Fagundes claimed the women’s drug use caused their stillbirths and blamed them both.
Perez, who pleaded guilty to manslaughter to avoid a longer sentence, had her 11-year sentence overturned after serving four years in prison. Becker, who could not afford bail pending trial, spent 16 months in prison before her charges were dismissed.
“Those two cases are a symptom of the disease,” Hacker, the Hanford attorney who defeated Fagundes in the primary, told The San Francisco Chronicle. “And the disease that has infected our criminal justice system here in Kings County is preferential treatment.”
Hacker wasn’t the only legal mind concerned about Fagundes’ choice to sue the women. California Attorney General Rob Bonta issued a statement in January clarifying state law and condemning the charges against them.
“The loss of a pregnancy at any stage is a physically and emotionally traumatic experience that should not be compounded by the threat of murder,” Bonta said in the statement. “The charges against Ms. Becker and Ms. Perez were not in accordance with the law, and this abuse of Section 187 must not be repeated. With reproductive rights under attack in this country, it is important that we make it clear: Here in California , we don’t criminalize the loss of a pregnancy.”
Fagundes agreed to an interview with Insider ahead of the primaries. He stopped responding to requests for comment after the election results became available.