by Sam Levin
During some kind of dispute ata truck stop yesterday morning, police say Mark Downing, 28, stabbed a nine-months pregnant woman, seriously injuring her and the unborn child.
The 30-year-old victim, who police say was an acquaintance with the suspect, was rushed to the hospital where she delivered the baby by cesarean section and was treated for a stabbing wound, according to the Pulaski County Sheriff's Department.
The newborn is also suffering from a stabbing wound and being treated as well, police say.
Miraculously, the mother and the newborn are both "recovering well," cops say.
Officials don't have a lot of details to offer about the stabbing or the victim's relationship to the suspect other than to confirm that she knew him. Police say the incident was sparked by some sort of a "domestic dispute" in the parking lot of a Road Ranger truck stop on Highway 28 in Pulaski County.
Downing was arrested shortly after the incident but not before he got into a "brief altercation" with deputies, police say.
He is currently being held in Pulaski County Jail on two counts of first-degree assault with bond set at $1 million, Sheriff Ron Long says.
In response to concerned commenters on Facebook who say that the suspect should be facing a stricter charge, the sheriff's office emphasizes that the "first-degree assault" offense in this case incorporates what most consider "attempted murder."
The sheriff's office explains:
Please understand that in the state of Missouri, the offense of First Degree Assault incorporates what most people recognize as Attempted Murder. It is potential a life sentence could be received for that offense. Our state does not have a statute known as Attempted Murder. Absent death, he is charged with one of the most serious felonies possible. The court system will do its job.