Alleged impaired driver charged in unborn baby's death

Ashton Craven is charged in connection with an accident that authorities say killed another driver's unborn baby

May 14, 2012 4:24:51 PM PDT
A family is in anguish after the death of a child they never even had a chance to meet. Eyewitness News has learned murder charges are now being filed against a suspected impaired driver accused in the death of an unborn child.

The crash happened Saturday afternoon in southeast Houston. The mother survived, but the baby she was carrying did not.

Late Monday afternoon, prosecutors started moving forward with the upgraded charge of felony murder. They say they will ask a judge to hold the suspect in lieu of $200,000 bond.

At the southeast corner of Juland and Bataan, the debris left behind only tells a partial story of what happened Saturday.

"He was doing like 40 to 50 miles an hour," said witness Gerald Campbell. "He come through here. He didn't stop at the stop sign.'

Campbell was there and saw the impact.

He recalled, "Next thing I know, bam, crunch!"

The victim inside the vehicle hit was Alner Smith, 20. The medical examiner says she was five months pregnant. The baby did not survive the impact.

Smith's grandmother Sharon Moss said, "I asked her how she was doing and she said so-so."

Moss says Smith is grieving for the unborn child, a baby boy. It would have been her first.

Police say Ashton Craven ran a stop sign at Bataan and Jutland just after 1pm Saturday. He was initially charged with DWI but that charge is being upgraded now to felony murder. Court records indicate craven has three prior DWI convictions, and convictions for criminally negligent homicide, two counts of drug possession, criminal mischief and failure to stop and give information. Despite that, the victim's grandmother insists she is not angry at Craven.

"I feel sorry for him and his family," Moss said. "But drinking and driving is not good. You never know what could happen."

Smith is still being treated at Memorial Hermann Hospital. Her injuries are not life threatening.

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