Wednesday, 29 September 2010

SBS: Maryland

WORCESTER —  Jury selection began yesterday for the Worcester Superior Court trial of a Gardner woman charged with murder in the death of her 2-year-old daughter.

Michelle L. Lepkowski, 35, formerly of 45 Grant St., Gardner, has pleaded not guilty to charges of murder, assault and battery on a child causing substantial bodily injury and reckless endangerment of a child in the May 18, 2007, death of her daughter, Raelynn T. Mascal.

The child died after being taken from her mother’s apartment to Henry Heywood Hospital in Gardner suffering from injuries to her head, face and torso, according to authorities.

Assistant District Attorney Paula J. Frasso, who is prosecuting the case, said during a pretrial hearing last week that the 2-year-old died as a result of blunt force trauma and shaken baby syndrome.

A total of 16 jurors, including four alternates, will be seated for the trial, which is expected to last about 10 days. Jury selection was scheduled to resume today after nine jurors were chosen yesterday.

Ms. Lepkowski is represented by lawyer Barry P. Wilson. Judge Janet Kenton-Walker is presiding over the trial.

Luke Malizia, 24, of Gardner, Ms. Lepkowski’s boyfriend at the time of her daughter’s death, is awaiting trial on accessory and reckless endangerment of a child charges.

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