CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The Mecklenburg County District Attorney's office will move to indict Mark Cox with the murder of the unborn baby of Danielle Watson, his co-worker at a Ballantyne restaurant.

Defense attorney Melissa Owen said the move by the DA's office is significant.

The state house changed the law within the last two months. The law has changed and this will be the first case going forward under the law, Owen said.

Cox is accused of murdering Watson last Friday night. She was the manager of the Flying Biscuit where Cox was a co-worker.

At his first court appearance Wednesday, Cox listened as the prosecution indicated that Cox would be charged with Watson's murder and a second indictment would be sought for her unborn child.

While the law regarding the death of an unborn child is new to North Carolina, it is not unique.

Twenty-one states charge crimes dealing with fetuses at any stage of gestation and 38 states have crimes against unborn children, said Owen.

Investigators have not said if Cox realized that Watson was pregnant when he allegedly killed her and Owen said under the new law, that does not matter.

A person can be charged for the death of a fetus at any age and the perpetrator does not need to know that the woman is pregnant, said Owen.

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