Saturday, February 9, 2013

Bulletin: Megan Martzen: California; Defence experts said 17-month's death was due to injury sustained in booster seat incident caused by baby's brother; Prosecutor says babysitter snapped. Now it's up to the jury: abc30.

STORY: "Closing arguments in the trial against Megan Martzen," by reporter Corin Hoggard, published by abc30 on February 9, 2013.

GIST: "Martzen's defense team wants the jury to believe Ella VanLeeuwen was already dying when she came to Megan's house in February 2009. But the prosecutor got the last word with jurors, saying the only reasonable conclusion is that Megan murdered Ella. The tension of a month-long trial showed on Megan Martzen's face Friday as the case reached its conclusion. The prosecutor painted Martzen as a teenager who was good with kids until she snapped and killed Ella VanLeeuwen with at least two blows -- to the head and the stomach. Opening and closing with the same picture of the 17-month-old, he told the jury the defendant's explanation of what happened just didn't make sense, and there's no one who backs it up except the defendant herself......... The VanLeeuwens deny it ever happened. But medical experts testified that the pressure in Ella's head was very likely building up for several hours before she was hospitalized. That could back up Martzen's claim that Ella's parents told her the toddler had been pushed over in a booster seat by her brother. Magill says it could be enough to create reasonable doubt in a jury with a tough decision ahead."
The entire story can be found at:

Fresno Bee story: (Reporter Marc Bernjamin): "Martzen is on trial for murder and child abuse causing the death of the 17-month-old, who Martzen said was injured in a fall from her bed on Feb. 21, 2009. The jury also could consider involuntary manslaughter."

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