A Buena Vista Police Officer has been charged in the murder of a pregnant woman.
Kenneth Bluew, a man who has served as a police officer since 1999, has been charged with premeditated murder in the death of Jenny Webb. Prosecutor Mike Thomas says her body was found by Officer Tim Patterson at a police gun range in Buena Vista just before midnight on August 31, 2011. Prosecutor Thomas says the woman was strangled, and that resulted in the death of her unborn baby, Braxton James, as well.
He also says that Bluew was armed and on duty when detectives believe he committed the crime. You can read more details on the crime scene and initial reports by clicking here.
Bluew was arraigned Tuesday morning in Saginaw County District Court. Following the video arraignment, Prosecutor Thomas spoke with NBC25 regarding the investigation that led them to the police officer. He says the Michigan State Police were called to help with the investigation shortly after Webb's body was found, given the sensitivity of the case. They took several evidence and DNA samples, and as soon as results were completed, the prosecutor says he moved forward with a warrant for Bluew's arrest. The warrant was issued around 4:45 p.m. Monday, and the suspect was arrested shortly after.
Officer Bluew has also been charged with Felony Firearm Possession, Intentional Conduct against a Pregnant Individual Resulting in Death and Miscarriage or Stillbirth to a Fetus or Embryo.
On the NBC25 Facebook page, much discussion has centered over whether Bluew should be charged with a double homicide, due to the death of the unborn baby. Prosecutor Thomas says the infant's death, per Michigan law, "is not characterized by murder per se, but it is characterized as death or serious injury to a fetus or embryo, and that's the charge that we have issued." While Bay Justice Defense Attorney Edward Czuprynski isn't representing Bluew, he did come onto the NBC25 Today Show Wednesday to offer some further insight into how cases like this are handled. You can see his interview video below:NBC25Wednesday
The woman and child were laid to rest the following Saturday after the crime. Friends and family were shocked by the horrendous crime. Edward Davis, a family friend talked to NBC25 on the day of the memorial. Davis stated, "this person not only killed a woman, whoever that person may be but, they took two lives. They took the life of an infant." Webb's former coworker Barry Beer also told NBC25, "it's hard to wrap your head around something like this because she's the last person you would expect this to happen to because she had no enemies."
Prosecutor Thomas says while the allegations against the Buena Vista Police officer are upsetting, the principal upset in this case is the fact that we lost a 32-year-old citizen and a child that could have been born alive and lost their life experiences also. That TMs the tragedy in this case.
Officer Bluew is scheduled to have a preliminary court hearing on September 22nd. He is currently being held without bond in the Gratiot County Jail and will be brought to the Saginaw County Jail for court appearances. According to the Detroit Free Press, not guilty pleas have been entered for Bluew, and he has been suspended from his job during the investigative and court processes.
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