WORCESTER, Mass. — A judge has ordered one of the two second-degree murder charges against Erika Murray to be thrown out due to insufficient evidence.
While Murray is still being charged with second-degree murder for the death of one of the babies found inside her squalid home, the judge says there's not enough evidence to prove one of the children had been born.
"There was no evidence that baby had been born," said Judge Janet Kenton-Walker. "And a person can only cause the death of a victim if the person was a living and an independent person."
Murray's attorneys had asked for all the charges against her to be dropped, claiming the prosecution didn't prove the filthy conditions of the home led to any harm. Judge Kenton-Walker denied the motion.
Erika Murray was charged with two counts of second-degree murder after police found remains of three children inside her Blackstone home in 2014.
Initially, Murray was only charged with the deaths of two of the three children because prosecutors said they had evidence both babies were alive - pointing out they were found wearing clothes and Murray acknowledged at least one was alive.
"There is ample evidence to find Erika Murray caused the death of her children, with malice," said Worcester County ADA Christopher Hodgens. "She intentionally neglected them by secreting their births, secreted them in the home, she never took them outside, deprived them of human contact, never took them to a doctor."
After the prosecution rested, Murray's attorney asked the judge to dismiss the charges, arguing there was no evidence that showed the conditions of the home led up to the children's' deaths, nor that it caused any specific harm to the children found alive in the home.
"The issue is not whether risk increased, the issue is whether we know whether the baby would have survived if circumstances had been different," said Murray's attorney.
The defense began its case on Tuesday, the sixth day of the trial.
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