Marchella Pierce's Mother, Charged In Her Death, Denies Harming Child

Marchella Pierce, 4, was found dead tied to a bed last year, and weighed 18 pounds, nearly half the weight of an average 4-year-old

Tuesday, May 8, 2012  |  Updated 6:51 AM EDT
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Mother of Battered NYC Girl Who Died Is on Trial

NBC New York

Photos of Marchella Pierce were shown to jurors Wednesday

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Mother of Battered NYC Girl Who Died Is on Trial

Marchella Pierce, 4, was found dead tied to a bed last year, and weighed 18 pounds, nearly half the weight of an average 4-year-old. Now Pierce's mother is on trial. Melissa Russo reports.
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A Brooklyn mother accused of starving, drugging and beating her 4-year-old daughter to death says she never harmed the child.

Carlotta Brett-Pierce acknowledged at her trial Monday that the girl "had lost weight," but said she "didn't look bad."

Brett-Pierce and her mother, Loretta Brett, are charged with murder in the death of Marchella in September of 2010. She weighed half what a child her age should, and had bruises and cuts on her body.

The defendants have pleaded not guilty and say they were doing the best they could.

The outcome of the murder trial may have repercussions for the child welfare workers once assigned to the family.

They were charged with criminally negligent homicide and have also pleaded not guilty.

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