Sunday, July 19, 2015

Bulletin: Melissa Calusinski; Daycare Death Again Profiled on '48 Hours': Was it a simple mistake or did someone deliberately withhold the readable images from the defense, asks "48 Hours" reporter Erin Moriarty. (Must Read. HL);

"The new evidence and the Lake County coroner’s new ruling in the death of Ben Kingan — a death that put young daycare worker Melissa Calusinski in prison — was aired on “48 Hours” Saturday night. The new evidence raises critical questions a judge will need to weigh as he considers whether a hearing should be conducted to grant her a new trial. Judge Daniel Shanes has said he’ll decide by Sept. 15. X-rays of the boy’s head never before seen by the defense led the coroner to change the cause of death to “undetermined” earlier this month. And the defense only learned of the existence of those X-rays because of an anonymous tipster. CBS correspondent Erin Moriarty, who profiled the Calusinski case in February, asks in Saturday’s program: Why weren’t all the autopsy X-rays shown at trial? We know now that there were five X-rays — the two newly discovered images and three others that were unreadable. All of the images now appear to be easily accessible in the coroner’s computer system. However, at trial, the assistant state’s attorney who prosecuted Melissa’s case told the judge and the defense team about three X-rays, the unreadable ones. Was it a simple mistake or did someone deliberately withhold the readable images from the defense? Who is the anonymous caller who finally let Melissa’s family know the X-rays existed? And why now? Current Coroner Thomas Rudd, contradicting the former coroner’s conclusions, says there was no evidence of a skull fracture and also no evidence of injuries to the child’s legs. ........Rudd said he was also shocked to learn that those X-rays were in the coroner’s offices electronic files."