Saturday, 8 September 2012

FILICIDE: Maria Boyd charged

Posted: 10:33 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2012

Murder charges bound over for trial for mother accused of killing six-week-old son

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HUNTINGDON, Pa. — By Bill Wadell
Nine months after she was arrested, first-degree murder and criminal homicide charges filed against 24-year-old Maria Boyd were bound over for trial at her long-delayed preliminary hearing Tuesday afternoon.

Boyd was taken into custody following a 17-month investigation into the suspicious death of her son Andrew, found unresponsive in his bassinet inside a Smithfield Township home in July 2010.

A pathologist called to the stand by prosecutors testified that the coroner first thought the death was Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, but that an autopsy showed severe injuries sustained by serious and intentional force.

Investigators said the baby died from blunt force trauma to his abdomen leading to internal bleeding, but that the infant also suffered a radial fracture to his left arm and a crack in his skull.

Huntingdon County District Attorney George Zanic told 6News that phone-tapped conversations, interviews and medical conclusions led to Boyd's arrest.

"She was there at the critical timeframe between four in the morning and 12 in the afternoon. She's right there. If anything happened, she did it. She had to do it," said Zanic. "If anybody had come in there, as it seems that's going to be the defense, how do you not know that? She says she's a light sleeper."

During the hearing, prosecutors played the audio recording of state police interviewing Boyd, who started weeping when she was told that her son's death was not accidental.

Defense Attorney Tom Dickey told 6News that a babysitter and a friend had access to the baby the night before he died and that troopers still cannot answer how or why the lethal injuries were inflicted.

"I hope at some point, I hope a judge is going to look and say 'Hey, where's your evidence that Maria did this, that it's Maria, and not just the fact that she was there at the house?'" said Dickey. "I'm hoping that's what will happen and we can only hope for that day. If not, we'll have to go to a jury and say 'Look, did they really prove this beyond a reasonable doubt?' If they didn't, were going to be acquitted."

Jury selection for the first-degree murder trial is set for early March.

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