Murder charge filed in pregnant NJ woman's death; baby healthy

Crime Scene File Photo.

Authorities have announced an arrest in the death of a New Jersey woman who was eight months pregnant and gave birth to a healthy baby before she died of gunshots last week.

Passaic County prosecutors and Paterson police say Donqua Thomas, 30, of Paterson surrendered to authorities Saturday and was charged with first-degree murder and second-degree weapons counts.

Police responding to a report of a shooting in Paterson on Thursday found the 31-year-old victim, identified only by the initials “R.L.," with gunshot wounds. Prosecutors said she was taken to St. Joseph's University Medical Center, where the baby was delivered before she succumbed to her wounds.

Officials said the baby was healthy and in stable condition; they haven't specified whether the child is a boy or a girl.

Authorities have said the shooting stemmed from a domestic dispute. They allege that Thomas waited in a vehicle for more than an hour and a half near the victim's residence, and when she arrived and got out of her car, he shot her multiple times and drove off.

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It's unclear if Thomas has an attorney; a message was left Sunday at a number listed in his name.

Authorities say 100 shootings so far this year in Paterson have killed two dozen people and wounded another 118 people.