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2 Marines charged with attempted murder in pregnant woman beating

July 24, 2012 | 12:28 pm

Two Camp Pendleton Marines and an alleged accomplice face attempted murder charges in the beating of a pregnant woman who was kicked in the stomach, allegedly in an attempt to cause her to miscarry, authorities said Tuesday.

One of the Marines is the father of the baby, who was delivered prematurely hours after the June 20 assault, said Redding police, who added that the boy is healthy.

The child’s father, Marine Lance Cpl. Lance Swann, was “not very happy about the pregnancy” and wanted his former girlfriend to miscarry, said Sgt. Al Mellon, an investigator with the Redding Police Department.

Now that an alleged motive has been discovered, the attempted murder of the fetus has been added to previously filed allegations of assault and robbery, Mellon said.

Swann, 20, of Laguna Niguel, is expected to be transferred to the Redding area later this week for arraignment. His friend and alleged accomplice, Lance Cpl. Jeffrey Walton, 20, of Ventura was out on bail last week on the lesser charges and authorities are now looking to bring him back into custody on the attempted murder charge, Mellon said.

Lance Swann’s cousin, Erica Swann, 29, of Anderson, is being held without bail. Erica Swann allegedly was part of a plot to get the pregnant woman, Nicole Vultaggio, 18, to a spot where the assault could take place, police said.

Erica Swann was walking with Vultaggio on the Sacramento River Trail near the Sundial Bridge in Redding and texted their whereabouts to the Marines, who then arrived at the scene wearing masks.

Police said they were suspicious that only the pregnant woman was physically assaulted in what was originally reported as a robbery. Authorities said they obtained Erica Swann’s phone texting records and found items previously reported stolen at her home.

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-- Larry Gordon

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