Saturday, February 2, 2013

Megan Martzen: California; 22-year-old baby-sitter on trial in Fresno for alleged murder of 17-month-old girl. Former employers praise her child care skills. Fresno Bee.

"Megan Martzen, center, the 22-year old from Reedley who is charged with murder and child-abuse leading to the death of 17-month old Ella VanLeeuwen, arrives outside the courtroom Wednesday morning to waiting supporters on Wednesday, January 30, 2013 in Fresno, Calif."

"Megan Martzen was baby sitter of choice for a family that allowed their child to take outings with Martzen and her husband, the jury heard Friday during Martzen's child abuse and murder trial. Clovis police Sgt. James Boldt was one of two witnesses who hailed Martzen on Friday for her child-care skills. Boldt, who also was the landlord of the Martzen home in Reedley where toddler Ella VanLeeuwen fell, allegedly leading to her death in February 2009, testified that Martzen was the only person outside of family who regularly watched his daughter. Boldt said Martzen's child-care skills were "awesome." He also described her as "caring" and "gentle." Boldt said his daughter often  requested to spend time with Martzen and her husband, Scott, even when the Boldts didn't need a baby sitter......... Friday's testimony ended with two people adding details about previous testimony. A lawyer who represented Martzen four years ago told about what he had heard of an incident where Ella VanLeeuwen was pushed to the floor while seated in her booster seat. Layne Hayden shared a conversation he had with his client: Martzen said Deniele VanLeeuwen, Ella's mother, told her that Ella was pushed from the booster seat on Feb. 20, 2009, the day prior to Ella falling in Martzen's home and going to the hospital. Ella died Feb. 24, 2009. Hayden said he was questioning Martzen about previous bruises to Ella or any indication that something else happened other than the fall from Martzen's bed. He said Martzen told him that Ella's brother, a slightly older toddler, pushed 17-month-old Ella while she was strapped in the chair. Martzen testified this week that she did not tell police about the booster seat fall because she thought Deniele VanLeeuwen would tell officers. Hayden was hired by Martzen's mother after Megan Martzen came out of an interview with police and thought investigators doubted her version of events. Hayden testified that he told Martzen not to talk with police unless he was present. Hayden said he could not tell police about the booster seat fall because he was under attorney-client privilege at the time. He since stepped aside as her defender and his testimony was permitted after Martzen waived her attorney-client privilege with him.........The trial resumes Monday."

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The Toronto Star, my previous employer for more than twenty incredible years, has put considerable effort into exposing the harm caused by Dr. Charles Smith and his protectors - and into pushing for reform of Ontario's forensic pediatric pathology system. The Star has a "topic" section which focuses on recent stories related to Dr. Charles Smith. It can be found at:

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