News From Terre Haute, Indiana

August 3, 2013

WTH man charged with stabbing pregnant woman

Special to the Tribune-Star

---- — A West Terre Haute man faces two counts of assault in Missouri after he allegedly stabbed a pregnant woman in the stomach on Wednesday.

Mark Alan Downing, 28, was charged with two counts of class-A felony first degree assault with serious physical injury, as well as two counts of armed criminal action, which are sentencing enhancements. He is being held in the Pulaski County Jail with bail set at $1 million cash.

Pulaski County Prosecutor Kevin Hillman told the Tribune-Star that the Missouri criminal charges are similar to Indiana’s attempted murder charge. If convicted, Downing is facing up to life in prison.

The alleged victim is a 30-year-old West Terre Haute woman who was nine months pregnant. Hillman said the woman is reportedly recovering at an area hospital.

According to a probable cause statement released by the Pulaski County Prosecutor’s Office, police were called to a truck stop in St. Robert, Mo., at about 9:30 a.m. Wednesday after someone reported that the woman had been stabbed.

The statement reports that the foot of the unborn child was protruding from the woman’s wound. She was transported to an area hospital where her infant daughter was delivered by Cesaerian section. The infant was then transferred to a St. Louis-area hospital for treatment. The child sustained a cut on her foot during the attack, Hillman said.

The Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department reports that Downing and the woman became involved in a domestic dispute in the parking lot of the truck stop, and at some point, Downing allegedly stabbed the woman. Police believe that Downing was under the influence of an unknown narcotic at the time of the incident, and report that he was behaving erratically when arrested.

His next court date is Aug. 13, for an attorney appearance or appointment of a public defender.