A first-degree battery charge against Ricardo Blair was dropped before he pleaded guilty to another felony charge.
Blair, who in April was accused of his battery charge in the alleged beating of a pregnant woman, was sentenced Thursday to two years in the Arkansas Department of Corrections on a felon in possession of a firearm charge. His battery charge, which alleged he beat then-plaintiff Mahogany Holden in the moments before she went into labor, were dropped after the prosecution was confronted with medical evidence and Holden’s absence in the proceedings of the case.
Arkansas Law 5-13-201states a person commits first-degree battery if he or she while in the commission of a felony or Class A misdemeanor causes serious physical injury to a pregnant woman’s unborn child and the child is subsequently born alive. Holden prior to Blair’s arrest told police Blair grabbed her around the abdomen and threw her over a dog kennel. She said she went into labor, passed out and found the fetus dead the next day.
A statement from the Arkansas Medical Examiner stated the fetus showed clear signs of maceration, "which occurs over a period of days in the uterus after an intrauterine fetal death."
"This rules out any relationship between the alleged assault on the mother and the subsequent stillbirth on the same day," the Medical Examiner’s statement reads. "It is my opinion that this was a natural intrauterine death."
Officers also didn’t observe any injuries to Holden’s person, according to a statement from Sebastian County Prosecutor Dan Shue. Blair has "consistently denied" the battery, making a victimless prosecution impossible, the statement reads.
Shue also noted that his office has sent Holden two letters, neither of which she responded to, and that she has a failure to appear warrant for a court appearance related to misdemeanor theft and drug paraphernalia charges from Sebastian County District Court. He also said is unable to be served a subpoena because she moved without providing the Prosecutor’s Office with her new address.
"Without Ms. Holden’s participation, the battery charge could not be proved beyond a reasonable doubt," a statement from Sebastian County Prosecutor Dan Shue.