NORRISTOWN, Pa. (CBS) — The former babysitter now accused of killing an infant she was caring for in Montgomery County nearly two decades ago is asking the court to grant bail while her case moves through the court system.
Melissa Haskell sits behind bars without bail, nearly two weeks after she was charged with third-degree murder for the 1992 suffocation death of five-month-old Ryan Baurley in Upper Merion (see related story).
Defense attorney Martin Mullaney says the case was reopened and his client was charged based on a tip from a person whom prosecutors described as a “concerned citizen.”
Mullaney says that person is Haskell’s former husband, and that tip was provided during a custody battle over their child.
“The district attorney’s office is looking for a do-over,” Mullaney says. “They have no new physical evidence, we have the same autopsy, we have the same police investigation.”
In court papers, Mullaney questions a secret recording during which the 38-year-old Bridgeport woman allegedly confessed to her ex-husband.
“He’s the ‘concerned citizens’ who’s come forward?” Mullaney says. “If he was such a concerned citizen and he had this information for ten years, why didn’t he come forward ten years ago?”
The attorney claims Melissa Haskell was coerced by her husband into making the statement that was recently recorded secretly by investigators.
A bail hearing is scheduled for September 12th.
Reported by Brad Segall, KYW Newsradio 1060