Thursday, January 7, 2016

Melissa Calusinski; Illinois; Prosecutors reject her claim of exculpatory "new" X-ray evidence and oppose her request for a new trial; Daily Herald;

STORY: "Prosecutors oppose Calusinski's new trial request," by reporter Lee Filas, published by the Daily Herald on January 4, 2016

GIST: "Lake County prosecutors have filed a motion to dismiss a new trial request for a Carpentersville woman who claims she is wrongfully incarcerated for a toddler's 2009 death at a Lincolnshire day care center. In the 37-page court document filed Dec. 31, prosecutors said the alleged "new" X-ray evidence introduced in a post-conviction petition by defense attorneys for Melissa Calusinski, 28, was actually old evidence her attorneys had in their possession but never electronically enhanced. In addition, prosecutors said the post-trial petition filed in June by defense attorney Kathleen Zellner reintroduces old arguments that were already discounted at Calusinski's 2011 trial. "This was a complex trial involving many experts and witnesses, and not something that can be summarized in a sound bite," Lake County State's Attorney Michael Nerheim said Monday. "We filed our petition and will discuss our argument in a court of law where it belongs." The prosecution document, which the Daily Herald obtained Monday, is under review by Lake County Judge Daniel Shanes. It will be discussed at a hearing Jan. 8. Calusinski was sentenced to 31 years in prison after a jury convicted her of first-degree murder in the death of 16-month-old Benjamin Kingan. Calusinski was found guilty of throwing the Deerfield boy to the floor at the now-closed Minee Subee in the Park day care in Lincolnshire, causing a fatal head injury. After an appeal was denied by the state appellate court in February 2014, Zellner claimed in a post-trial petition that a second set of legible autopsy X-rays taken of the toddler's skull clearly showed the child suffered from a pre-existing injury when he died. That petition also states an anonymous caller told Calusinski's father, Paul Calusinski, to find an enhanced set of X-rays at the Lake County coroner's office. Paul Calusinski contacted Coroner Thomas Rudd, who found the X-rays, the document states."
The entire story can be found at:


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