Crime and Courts

Prosecutor to Dismiss Charges Against NJ Mom in Newborn's Death

the judge's stand inside a courtroom with a US flag in the background

What to Know

  • New Jersey prosecutor on Monday announced she was dismissing murder and child endangerment charges against a woman in the death of her newborn
  • Keri Barry was admitted to a hospital in December 2009 with abdominal pain and symptoms consistent with recent child birth or miscarriage, authorities said
  • Medical personnel discovered Barry had given birth, but there was no sign of the child. Police later recovered a plastic bag at Barry's home which contained the body of a full-term baby boy

A New Jersey prosecutor on Monday announced she was dismissing murder and child endangerment charges against a woman in the death of her newborn after higher courts upheld a judge's ruling that evidence in the case was inadmissible.

Keri Barry was admitted to a hospital in December 2009 with abdominal pain and symptoms consistent with recent child birth or miscarriage, authorities said. Medical personnel discovered Barry had given birth, but there was no sign of the child. Police later recovered a plastic bag at Barry's home which contained the body of a full-term baby boy.

Barry's lawyer sought to suppress the evidence and Judge Joseph Portelli found the search of Barry's home did not comply with the requirements for warrantless searches. The ruling barred prosecutors from using the evidence, including the body.

The ruling was upheld on appeal.

"Without the use of the evidence deemed inadmissible by Judge Portelli's ruling, the state cannot sustain its burden of proof," Passaic County Prosecutor Camelia Valdes said in a statement.

While disagreeing with the ruling, the prosecutor said she respects the opinions and the process.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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