An Arverne woman whose daughter and unborn child were killed on the daughter’s due date is going to Albany this week to ask for tougher penalties for those who kill a pregnant woman.
Towanda Wimms is seeking support for the Unborn Victims of Violence Act in Albany, which would treat the act of killing a pregnant woman as two murders.
Wimms’ daughter, Niasha DeLain, a 25-year-old who worked in customer service at a Rockaway Capital One Bank branch, was killed in Ozone Park on her due date and on her father’s birthday — Oct. 25, 2008. She was also pursuing a bachelor’s in accounting from the College of New Rochelle.
The father of the child, Derrick Redd, is facing charges of second-degree murder, abortion and criminal possession of a weapon in Queens Supreme Court. He was indicted Dec. 17. A hearing scheduled for Oct. 8 was postponed. His next court date is scheduled for Dec. 14.
“I hope this law will get on the table for January,” Wimms said, referring to the month where state legislators return to Albany for regular session. “Since my daughter’s murder, there’s been similar murders in the state. The penalties have to be stiffer.”
A similar law was passed by Congress in 2004 following the widely publicized Lacy Peterson case. Peterson and her unborn child were killed in California by her husband, Scott Peterson.
But Wimms, 45, said the federal law only covers fetuses murdered in a federal building or if the woman was a federal employee.
“I don’t want another family to go through what we went through,” she said.
Reach reporter Howard Koplowitz by e-mail at hkoplowitz
©2009 Community News Group
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