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The Killing Season - Websleuths

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  1. #1
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    VA - Anna Bell, 20 mos, beaten to death, dad's GF charged, 18 May 2014

    NORFOLK -- A Norfolk woman has been charged following the death of her 20-month-old step-daughter.

    Police charged 24-year-old Emily Defries of Norfolk with second degree murder Monday.

    According to police, Defries was babysitting the victim and two other children on May 18. Defries told investigators that she discovered the victim at the bottom of the steps and then called 911 around 5:30 p.m. Medics responded to the incident and transported the victim to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, where she was pronounced dead at approximately 6:10 p.m.


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  2. #2
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    http://wtkr.com/2014/09/24/case-agai...to-grand-jury/

    “If you know Emily, you know she is innocent. And if you know me, you know everything I am saying is true”...

    The words are from a [funding] site set up by a man who identifies himself as Defries’ fiance, the same man who is the father of baby Anna Belle.
    http://hamptonroads.com/2014/09/murd...toddlers-death

    Emily Defries told police she had put her fiance's 20-month-old daughter, Anna Bell, down for a nap on May 18 and that she found the child at the bottom of the stairs about 5 p.m...

    Judge Lauri D. Hogge decided that there was probable cause to send the second-degree-murder charge against Defries to a grand jury.

    During the preliminary hearing, a medical examiner said the child died of injuries to her brain and skull, which had two fractures.

  3. #3
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    2 skull fractures from a fall down the stairs? From a crib, which is what a 20 month old should be sleeping in? And she never heard a thing? The child's father is desperate or blind.
    "If you are lucky enough to find a way of life you love, you have to find the courage to live it."
    - John Irving in A Prayer for Owen Meany

    Unless I provide a link or refer to a specific link, all my ramblings are theories, speculation, scenarios based on what info is available and my own unique life experiences.

  4. #4
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    http://www.13newsnow.com/story/news/...rial/73031174/

    Anna Bell's older sister took the stand Tuesday in the second day of Emily Defries' murder trial.

    The attorney for Defries, who has been charged with the second degree murder of 20-month-old Anna, suggested the toddler's older sister was responsible for her death.
    I absolutely despise defense tactics that try to pin something on another innocent child. This is despicable in my very honest opinion!! I am crying for this sister.

    They should have stuck with the original story
    Brandon Belle testified that Defries, his ex-fiance, called him frantically to say Anna fell down a flight of stairs at their home on Gregory Drive.
    Even though the medical expert will try to testify that it wasn't possible, it just breaks my heart that they will try to get an adult out of the crime by blaming another innocent child caught in this mess!!
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  5. #5
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    Yet another little angel gets her wings. There are too many little angels in heaven, I'll say again. The rocky road they have to take to get there is just to tuff for little human beings, just too hard and unfair. Nevertheless, there is another one named Anna Bell.

    The big sister angle may slow this up a bit -- we'll need to pay attention to that part of it. I want to see how hard Defries' attorney presses that defense. Any past injuries to Anna? And what's this about her relationship with her little sister?

    During cross-examination, Anna's sister admitted to having a rocky relationship with Anna.

    But when Defries' attorney, James Broccoletti, asked if she had ever hit the toddler, she replied, "I don't remember. No."


    The sister testified at some point during the morning of May 18, 2014, the day Anna died, she had gone into her room, but did not hurt her.
    http://www.13newsnow.com/story/news/...rial/73031174/

    I'm thinking that horse (the big sister/little sister relationship) is gonna get beaten a lot before this is over... IMO
    Last edited by borndem; 09-30-2015 at 02:26 PM. Reason: fix link reference


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  6. #6
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    I'm curious about the age of the other child who was present.

    It's not clear to me from this story that the girlfriend did anything at all to the child - even the older sister only testifies seeing her at the bottom of the stairs and the girlfriend standing over her hysterical.

    A woman beating a child to death is not something that comes out of nowhere - she would have built up to it with a variety of lesser assaults.

    Is there other information, not presented in these articles, that makes it clear the sister wasn't the one at fault? Or is there any witness who has ever seen the girlfriend mistreat the child, the day she died or any other day prior?

    The 8 year old so far has not testified that she saw any violence between the girlfriend and baby Anna? How is that possible, if the girlfriend smashed the baby's head in while the 8 year old was present in the home?

  7. #7
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    Guilty! Jury recommended 20 years, sentencing to come.

    http://wavy.com/2015/10/01/norfolk-j...ends-daughter/

  8. #8
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    Well, something or many things convinced this jury that she was at fault. Theoretically there were two suspects -- the defendant and the 8-yr-old sister. Apparently testimony convinced them that the big sister had nothing to do with it, or there might have been reasonable doubt by a juror or two. I would love to know more. Was there one big thing that pushed them to beyond a reasonable doubt, or was it -- as it usually is -- many things. Tuff sentence -- but a fitting one -- the victim was a defenseless little toddling girl.


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  9. #9
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    IMO, far more immature girlfriends and boyfriends of single parents harm kids not related to them than 8 year old sisters. Statistically, the verdict makes perfect sense.
    "If you are lucky enough to find a way of life you love, you have to find the courage to live it."
    - John Irving in A Prayer for Owen Meany

    Unless I provide a link or refer to a specific link, all my ramblings are theories, speculation, scenarios based on what info is available and my own unique life experiences.

  10. #10
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    During a previous court hearing, a doctor testified that the toddler's injuries were consistent with Shaken Baby Syndrome and severe blunt force trauma to the head.
    I've read about so many convictions for "Shaken Baby Syndrome" being overturned recently... Often it turns out that the baby had an undiagnosed medical condition that caused excessive bleeding or brittle bones.

    One of the workers at the daycare Anna attended testified she noticed unusual scratch marks and bruising on at least two occasions since Defries began caring for the girl. Four days before she died, when Defries came to pick Anna up, the toddler began screaming and desperately clung to an employee, the daycare worker told the jury.
    Toddlers get scratch marks and bruises all the time... Were there any old fractures or anything like that, I wonder?

    The little girl, holding a tissue and a stuffed animal while on the stand...
    Good grief! I didn't think anywhere still put little children on the stand!

    During cross-examination, Anna's sister admitted to having a rocky relationship with Anna.

    But when Defries' attorney, James Broccoletti, asked if she had ever hit the toddler, she replied, "I don't remember. No."
    Sounds like a "Yes" to me. But if a fall down the stairs apparently couldn't do that much damage to a healthy baby's skull, could an 8 year old girl do that much damage?

    the prosecution showed a recording of a heated police interrogation the day after Anna died."Nothing was wrong until he [the fiance] move you into the house," a detective was heard saying in the recording, "You're a liar and a murderer."
    Well! Sounds like they'd made up their minds right away, then!


  11. #11
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    ...the doctor who performed the autopsy on the baby told a courtroom, "The child most likely died from being shaken and slammed."

    The doctor went on to say Anna Belle had injuries all over her body, including under her chin, her stomach and back, and behind her ear. The fatal injury was a large fracture to her skull, according to the doctor.
    http://wtkr.com/2014/09/24/case-agai...to-grand-jury/

    Defries told detectives the girl was sleeping most of the day and had checked on her several times, while her son and the victim’s older sister were playing outside in the backyard. When she came back inside the house, that’s when she says she found the infant girl unresponsive at the bottom of the stairs. Defries told police she must have fallen down.
    http://wtkr.com/2014/08/08/autopsy-r...all-over-body/

  12. #12
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    GIRL, 8, BLAMED IN TRIAL OF WOMAN CONVICTED OF KILLING FIANCE'S BABY
    5/3/2016 via @CrimeWatchDaily:

    Little Anna Bell, 20 months old, dead under the watch of her daddy Brandon Bell's fiancee, Emily DeFries. The details of the horrific case made headlines in Virginia and sparked public outrage.

    Video:
    http://crimewatchdaily.com/videos/0_18xrfkki

    MuchMore@Link:
    http://crimewatchdaily.com/2016/05/0...-fiances-baby/






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  13. #13
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    if she had been repeatedly abused and had a head injury, she would be sleeping a lot.


  14. #14
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    The sister is probably 10 now. I wonder if one day she will tell her story. Her mother said she told her the step mom was mean.

  15. #15
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    I just watched the episodes of Crime Watch Daily on this, and a member of the jury said that he isn't convinced Emily "caused" the death, but being that she was the only adult in the house that was responsible for the children, ultimately, she was responsible for the child's safety, which led them to a conviction.

    My cousin's two year old son fell in the back yard when he was climbing on a pool ladder, and fell and hit his head on the edge of that patio when he was home with just his older siblings and his step father, and ultimately passed away. There was an investigation into his death, and his parents were cleared. But one expert would say there was no way it wasn't abuse, then three would say there was no way it was abuse. My point, all it takes to convince people is the right witness. This really COULD have been an accident.



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