A former Grand Junction man who slipped his then girlfriend pills that caused her to lose the fetus she was carrying was sentenced Monday to five years in prison.
Mesa County District Court Judge Thomas Deister said he had to balance several factors when determining the open sentence for 32-year-old Jared Ahlstrom.
On one hand, Ahlstrom confessed to his later ex-girlfriend that he secretly had slipped her pills that caused her to miscarry. Criminal charges would never have been filed without a confession. However, the judge said, a prison sentence was warranted to deter others from thinking they could take similar actions and not face prison time.
People cannot be allowed to think they can terminate pregnancies without the consent of the mom,” Deister said, calling it one of the most difficult sentencings during his 16 years on the bench.
Ahlstrom also expressed his deep remorse about the incidents that occurred two years ago, a factor Deister said he took into consideration.
“I don’t think I’ve seen a person as truly sorry as you ... given what you did it’s appropriate,” he continued. “On the other side, what you did was an appalling selfish, deliberated, calculated, cold-blooded act to get rid of another person. When that was unsuccessful, you did it another time.”
According to an arrest affidavit, Ahlstrom wanted his girlfriend to have an abortion after he impregnated her. About a year after his ex-girlfriend miscarried, he admitted to her he had drugged her twice to kill the fetus.
Ahlstrom had purchased Misoprostol in Mexico and laced her food with the drug before they went hiking.
Misoprostol can be used to cause abortion, induce labor and prevent ulcers.
Ahlstrom, who now lives in Utah, pleaded guilty in February to the single felony charge of unlawful termination of a pregnancy.
Ahlstrom told Deister he was ashamed of his actions and that he did it because he felt he wouldn’t have been a very good father because he had dropped out of school.
“I let my fear overtake me and I wish more than anything that I could take back what I’ve done,” he said.
Ahlstrom told Deister that he drugged his ex-girlfriend a second time after a first suspected miscarriage was not successful. He said he drugged his ex-girlfriend again because he thought the baby may have birth defects after being drugged once.
After a pause and drawing in a sharp breath, Deister said, “I’m not sure that does you any favors.”
Deister said Ahlstrom was fortunate he did not also kill his ex-girlfriend and end up standing in front of him on murder charges. More aggravating is that Ahlstrom’s victim, who is older than the defendant, believed that was her last chance to have a child. The victim requested no contact with Ahlstrom, but requested monetary assistance to adopt a child. Deister said he could not, by law, request fees for adoption from the defendant.