Christine Ferretti Mount Clemens - A jury deliberated for about four hours today without reaching a verdict in the second trial for a woman previously convicted of shaking her infant nephew, leaving him blind and brain-injured.
Julie Baumer, 34, of Harrison Township, was granted a new trial in November 2009 on claims her previous legal counsel was ineffective. Her new attorney, Carl Marlinga, has presented an alternative theory that it was a childhood stroke that caused Philipp Baumer's condition, not abuse. Philipp, now 7, has since been adopted and renamed Ben Zentz. Baumer was convicted of first-degree child abuse in 2005 on claims she violently shook the then-six-week-old boy in October 2003.
The Macomb County Circuit Court jury today asked to review all of the child's medical records, the transcript from his birth video, medical testimony and about 20 photographs of the boy taken just after birth. Judge James M. Biernat dismissed the panel for the day at 5 p.m. Deliberations are set to resume at 9 a.m. Friday.
Assistant Prosecutor Richard Goodman told the jury Philipp was thriving until he was admitted to a hospital in October 2003 and his injuries are not consistent with the childhood stroke condition defense is contending, he said.
Marlinga said the case against Baumer is "highly circumstantial." She had no motive to injure the nephew she planned to adopt and he'd been a sickly child since birth, Marlinga said.
If Baumer is convicted, she will return to prison to finish out the rest of her term.http://www.detnews.com/article/20101014/METRO03/10140477/1361/Jury-continues-deliberations-in-shaken-baby-trial#ixzz13DlSetJf