• McDowell Co. man charged with murder of unborn baby

    By: Dave Faherty


    MCDOWELL COUNTY, N.C. - A man is facing a murder charge accused of causing the death of an unborn baby.   

    It happened after police said Jackie Agnew strangled his live-in girlfriend at their home in Marion. 
    Channel 9 reporter Dave Faherty was in McDowell County where he spoke with police about the decision to charge him with murder. 

    Police began their investigation at McDowell Hospital after getting this 911 call from the pregnant mother. 

    "And you said he beat you?" the 911 operator said.

    “Yes ma’am. He choked me and held a gun to my head,” Credle told the dispatcher.

    “He held a gun to your head? Where’s he at now?” the dispatcher asked.

    “I don’t know, he took off,” Credle said.

    Police said Credle, who was 17-weeks pregnant, and Agnew were at their home in Marion when he tried to strangled her. They believe that action caused the unborn baby to later die. 

    "Obviously that may have not been the intention, but it was a violent assault and that was the outcome and that is why we are moving forward with the charges," said Marion Police Chief Allen Lawrence.

    Agnew, who turned themselves into authorities, is also charged with assault by strangulation on a female and by pointing a gun.

    Neighbors said their thoughts and prayers are with the family and support the decision by police to charge Agnew with murder. 

    "It is still a baby. It is still a human being. It still has a heartbeat and it is still a life,” said neighbor Barbara Hicks.

    "It is a living breathing person whether it is out in the world or not. No one has the right to take the life of another person,” said neighbor Tia Bartlett.

    Police said they have successfully prosecuted cases where an unborn child died in McDowell County, including a case involving a drunk driver who was sentenced to 15 years of prison time.

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