A law named for the unborn child of a murdered Wichita teen will now be used in court for the first time, after a Pratt man pleads not guilty to killing a pregnant woman.
"It's just ... it's important to us," said Terri Brooks, "to see that the state uses the law now that we have it."
The Brooks family lobbied hard for the passage of Alexa's Law after their daughter, Chelsea, and her unborn baby were murdered.
Now, Brandon Seba will go to trial for two counts of first degree murder for the deaths of Alexandria Duran and her unborn child last summer.
The Brooks family says it's sorry the law has to be there, but glad it can stand as a memorial to their lost daughter and granddaughter.
"You live with that loss everyday," said Terri Brooks, Chelsea's mother about her daughter's murder. "And there are good days and there are bad days."
In 2006 Chelsea Brooks was just weeks from giving birth when the father of her baby paid someone else to kill her. Her body was found six days later.
At the time prosecutors could only charge her murderers with her death. But her family saw her unborn child as a victim, too.
"We'd been making arrangements, planning and, you know, expecting that we were going to have a new member of the family," said Terri Brooks. "Chelsea had already named her and we were just waiting for her to arrive and she was just taken away."
It's a pain the family and friends of Alexandria Duran can understand.
"(She) was a mother of three. She was pregnant, four months pregnant," said Julia Miller, a friend of Duran's the day after she died.
"She was a real good girl," said Balena House, another friend.
"She was trying to do a good thing and ended up losing," added Miller.
Duran died last summer while trying to break up a fight on her front lawn. Her unborn baby died with her.
"They should be prosecuted for taking that life," said Brooks.
Because of Alexa's Law, named for Chelsea Brooks' baby girl, this time prosecutors charged the suspected shooter with two counts of murder.. one for the mother.. one for her child.
"It's gratifying to know that it's being used," said Terri Brooks.
This is the second time someone's been charged under Alexa's Law. Last year Andrew Guerrero faced capital murder charges in Kansas City for the death of his former wife and her unborn baby. But he pleaded guilty to avoid the death penalty.
The case against Alexandria Duran's alleged shooter, Bryant Seba, is the first time Alexa's Law will go to court.
The Brooks family is just glad it's doing some good.
"It would be a shame if she... if there wasn't anything positive to come out of Chelsea and Alexa's deaths," said Terri Brooks.
In addition to the murder charges for the deaths of Duran and her child, Bryant Seba pleaded not guilty to attempted murder charges for the shooting of Brandon Wright during that same fight. The trial is set for this fall. At an earlier hearing, eyewitnesses said Seba was shouting racial slurs at the time of the shootings.
Kansas was the 37th state to adopt a fetal homicide law. Other midwest states with similar laws include Nebraska and Oklahoma. Brooks says getting the law passed here wasn't easy because some legislators worried it would be used to restrict abortion rights.