Erik Bullock, 29, hired three youths to kick his pregnant girlfriend in the abdomen, killing her nine-month fetus, a prosecutor said today in bringing charges under the state's new fetal protection law.

Shawana Pace pleaded with one of her attackers to spare the baby, but the man uttered an expletive and said, "Your baby is dying tonight," a police affidavit said. The fetus died in the Aug. 26 attack at Pace and Bullock's house.

Pace, 23, told police she believed Bullock had arranged the attack.

"He had told her before that he did not want any children and was not going to have anything to do with this one," said the police affidavit, released today.

"He was afraid. He didn't want his parents to know" about the pregnancy, Pace said from the hospital room where she is recovering from having her spleen removed, a broken wrist and bruised face. She said she saw her dead child, a girl, and the baby looked "perfect."

Eric Beulah, 20, Derrick Witherspoon, 17, and Lonnie Beulah, 15, brothers from Pine Bluff, were arrested Wednesday and charged with first-degree battery and capital murder. Bullock was arrested today. If convicted, they could be sentenced to life in prison or death.

Police said the three, who are friends of Bullock, donned masks and posed as robbers when they entered the couple's home last week. A police report said Bullock was taken to another room before Pace was kicked in the abdomen. Her 5-year-old son was unharmed.

The murder charges will be the first test of a fetal protection law passed in the Legislature this year. The law makes it a crime to injure a fetus more than 12 weeks old but allows exceptions for abortions.