Correction to This Article
The article about a pregnant woman who was shot with a Taser and beaten in Montgomery County incorrectly said that the victim was 3561/27 months pregnant. She was 35 1/2 weeks pregnant. The article also referred to the suspect, Christine R. DeVaux, as a New Zealand medical student. DeVaux had attended medical school in New Zealand but is not a citizen of that country, according to its embassy in Washington.

New Zealand medical student allegedly tasers expectant mom in Maryland

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By Dan Morse
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, June 8, 2010

A New Zealand medical student who was on leave in Montgomery County snuck into the home of her boyfriend's pregnant daughter-in-law, shot her with a Taser and beat her, causing the woman to go into labor, authorities said Monday, revealing new details about the Friday afternoon attack.

The 29-year-old victim and her almost full-term baby, still inside the womb, survived and were recovering Monday at home near the northern Montgomery community of Damascus, police said.

Evidence and clues collected so far -- a kitchen floor lined with two plastic trash bags, a rifle, 50 rounds of hollow-point ammunition and the fact that Christine R. DeVaux had tucked her hair into a surgical cap -- have alarmed police and prosecutors.

"We're lucky we're not here on a homicide case," Montgomery Deputy State's Attorney John Maloney said in court Monday, successfully arguing that DeVaux should be held without bond. She is charged with attempted murder and other counts.

DeVaux, 38, has a master's degree in economics from George Washington University, her attorney, Timothy Sullivan, said in court. He declined to comment after the bond hearing, as did DeVaux's relatives.

The victim's husband, an FBI agent, declined to comment when reached at home Monday. Police said there is no indication that the attack was related to his job.

It is unclear whether detectives or prosecutors know what the suspect had in mind. The plastic bags may have been laid out in an effort to contain evidence.

"This is a very bizarre case," said John McCarthy, Montgomery's chief prosecutor. "Questions remain unanswered for us."

One thing seems clear: DeVaux had become certain that family members were interfering with her social life. Specifically, DeVaux -- a one-time employee of the Gaithersburg-based National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) -- thought that the victim, the victim's husband and the pregnancy were the source of problems between DeVaux and her boyfriend. Her boyfriend is the victim's father-in-law.

DeVaux "has been blaming [them] for causing problems in her relationship," Maloney said in court.

Sometime Friday, Maloney said, DeVaux parked her car down the street from the victim's home, a quiet street of two-story houses about 20 miles north of the Capital Beltway.

DeVaux let herself into the home using a key that she had copied from her boyfriend's key, Maloney said.


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