By Brad Segall

NORRISTOWN, Pa. (CBS) — A Montgomery County judge has ruled that an accused child killer’s alleged incriminating confession and statements to police can be heard by a jury when her trial starts later this month.

Judge Garrett Page ruled today that the alleged recorded confession Melissa Haskell made while sitting in a car with her ex-husband last year was not coerced and can be heard by a jury.

He also ruled that statements she gave to detectives are also admissible in court.

The 38-year-old woman is charged with third-degree murder, accused of suffocating a five-month-old boy she was babysitting nearly two decades ago in Upper Merion (see related stories).

Defense attorney Martin Mullaney was not surprised by the judge’s ruling.

“We’re going to handle the case in the same fashion that we were going to handle it — that (the ex-husband) coerced these statements out of our client and used and manipulated her through their custody case,” Mullaney tells KYW Newsradio.

The judge further ruled that the jury can hear about her ex-husband’s prior conviction for theft of services. Mullaney says that shows he’s a devious and dishonest person.

The trial is scheduled to start April 30th.


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