WORCESTER, Mass. (AP) — A defense lawyer on Thursday accused prosecutors of "speculation" in the filing of murder charges against a woman who lived in a filthy home where the skeletal remains of two babies and a fetus were found.
Attorney Keith Halpern made the comments in Worcester County Superior Court in a bid to get several charges against Erika Murray dropped, the Springfield Republican reported (http://bit.ly/1Jm5HT3 ).
"There's no evidence. All there is is speculation," Halpern said. "They say, 'We think these children died of neglect. We think these children starved to death.' Maybe. We'll never know."
Assistant District Attorney John Bradley disputed Halpern's comments.
"There is evidence of a pattern on behalf of defendant. ... That pattern is one of neglect," Bradley said. "Common sense inference is that if you have a baby and simply leave that baby to his or her own devices without care, then that baby is going to die. We suggest that is what happened here."
The judge did not rule Thursday.
The babies' remains were found in Murray's Blackstone home in September 2014. The house was infested with rodents and insects, was piled high with dirty diapers and contained dead animals. Workers in hazmat suits spent days cleaning out the house, which later was demolished.
Murray has pleaded not guilty to murder, assault and battery of a child, reckless endangerment of a child and animal cruelty.
Authorities said Murray was the mother of seven children, four living and three dead. Prosecutors said she gave birth to the five youngest children in the house's bathroom, attempting to hide their existence from their father because he did not want to have more children. They said she appears to have kept the children almost entirely in upstairs bedrooms filled with trash.
Murray is charged with murder in the deaths of two infants. She is not charged with murder in the death of the fetus.
Her case is set to return to court Feb. 25.
Information from: The Springfield (Mass.) Republican, http://www.masslive.com/news/