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Keeler v. Superior Court

Supreme Court of California
 470 P.2d 617 (1970)


Shortly after obtaining a divorce from his wife, Keeler (defendant) intercepted her on a mountain road, observed that she was visibly pregnant by another man, and shoved his knee into her abdomen and struck her. At the time of the incident, fetal movements had been detected by a physician and by Keeler’s ex-wife. Thereafter, the viable fetus was delivered stillborn, its head fractured. Keeler was charged with murder. Keeler’s motion to set aside the information for lack of probable cause was denied and he appealed to the California Supreme Court seeking a writ of prohibition on the ground that his actions did not constitute an offense under state law.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Mosk, J.)

Dissent (Burke, J.)

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