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Testimony Begins In Trial Of Montgomery County Woman Accused Of Murdering Infant

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Brad Segall Brad Segall
Brad Segall is the award-winning Suburban Bureau chief at KYW...
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By Brad Segall

NORRISTOWN, PA (CBS) — Testimony is underway in the trial of a Bridgeport, Pa. woman accused of murdering an infant she was babysitting for, nearly two decades ago. The death was originally determined to be Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

In the opening statements, prosecutor Chris Maloney said defendant Melissa Haskell’s own words to her ex-husband will betray her.

Maloney told the jury the 38-year-old woman told her husband, Michael Leflar, last April that “I will never put my hand over Michael’s mouth (referring to her son) like I did to that baby.”

Haskell is charged with third-degree murder in connection with the death of five-month-old Ryan Baurley in 1992. Prosecutors say Haskell gave the crying baby alcohol to calm him down, then smothered him.

But defense attorney Frank Genovese says Leflar had motivation to lie to detectives when he came forward with the information last year: he was involved in a custody battle with Haskell, and Genovese told the jury that Leflar would do anything to eliminate her from getting custody of their son, which includes having her arrested for a murder she did not commit.

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