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  1. #16
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    Trial begins for mom accused of murder

    http://www.abc17news.com/news/trial-...rder/491566539

    After hours of questioning 75 potential jurors and finally selecting 12, with two alternates, the trial of Emily Usnick is underway in Johnson County.

    During opening statements, the defense told the jury no one can be sure when the baby died; before, during, or after birth.

    During the emotional opening statements from both sides, Usnick and at least one juror could be seen wiping tears away.

    The jury is made up of mostly women, with only three men on the panel. During questioning, the defense focused on who had experience with child birth, complications during birth and giving birth of home.

    The state called it’s first witness on Wednesday. Capt. Kip Bartlett testified on the stand about his involvement in finding the baby’s body.

    On the stand, Bartlett described the baby as “fully formed, with a full head of hair.”

  2. #17
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    Usnick found guilty of involuntary manslaughter; acquitted of murder in infant’s death

    After nearly five and a half hours of deliberation, and some eight years after a decomposing infant was discovered in the trunk of a vehicle, an emotional three-day trial came to an end around 10:00 p.m. Friday night in Warrensburg.

    A Johnson County jury of 12 found the infant’s mother, Emily Usnick, not guilty on the State’s charge of second degree felony murder and guilty on one count of first degree involuntary manslaughter. The Class C felony carries a maximum sentence not to exceed seven years of imprisonment.

    When the verdict was delivered one after another, not guilty followed by guilty, the courtroom was seemingly silent in anticipation of a reaction that never came. Usnick did not appear to exhibit any emotions, neither did jury members.

    Usnick’s original bond of $75,000 was upheld by O’Malley, which she has already posted, and the judge ordered a Sentence Assessment Report to be completed for a hearing at 1:30 p.m. on June 29, 2017. The judge said the defense would have 25 days to file a motion for a new trial, if the defense wishes to do so. Prior to the criminal trial, Usnick had waiver her right to jury sentencing opting for the court’s discretion.
    The defendant said she never went to a doctor or took a test to confirm the pregnancy, but felt “butterflies” in her stomach around August or September at which point she said she knew for sure.

    “I was struggling to get by,” she told the jury. “I knew I wasn’t capable of taking care of another person at that time. Abortion wasn’t an option.”

    Usnick said she had planned to deliver the baby at the hospital and then sign it away to give it a chance at a better life.

    After the baby had been delivered into the toilet along with the after-birth, Usnick said she had grabbed a nearby tissue basket and placed the baby on top as she continued to writhe in pain over the toilet.

    “She wasn’t moving. I couldn’t stop what was going on at that moment,” Usnick said through tears. “She was beautiful. A little bit pink and blue, she looked like a sleeping baby, silent. She was gone.”

    After understanding what had just occurred, Usnick said she had felt like a “failure” and that she had “let her (daughter) down.” Once giving birth and regaining a bit of energy, Usnick shoved a towel between her legs and headed toward her bedroom to rest, bringing the infant along and placing her inside a blue storage bin that would eventually be moved to her car’s trunk, unmovable at this point due to a failed transmission, she said.

    Usnick said she had never moved the baby once it was placed in the trunk and described her subsequent interviews with police and in custody as “scary,” “alone” and “intimidating.”

    The prosecution sought to discredit pieces of Usnick’s testimony after her testimony, specifically, that the residence she was staying at in St. Elizabeth was remote, not close to any neighbors, or near medical services, nor did her pre-paid cell phone have any minutes or reliable reception.
    Winfrey asked the jury to use their “common sense” and deliver “justice” and “dignity” to the child who was never given a chance, he said. The prosecutor said it wasn’t his job to be “dramatic,” but to help the jury reach a verdict by applying the facts to the case.

    “She never had a birthday. She never learned how to walk,” Winfrey told the jury. “She lost her past and her future.”

    During the defense’s closing statements, Emmons sought to sew doubt in the State’s expert testimony, specifically that of Dr. Carl Stacy, who Emmons pointed out during cross-examination the forensic pathologist had given different answers during a 2012 evidence hearing when posed with similarly posed questions as to how long the baby lived, when it died and whether or not it could have been resuscitated.

    “When the State doesn’t know how can they ask you to be certain beyond a reasonable doubt?” Emmon’s pondered. “She didn’t have a choice. That’s the tragedy, but it’s not murder.”

    Emmons told the jury that no one knew for sure when the infant had died or what specifically caused the death. He told the jury that possibilities of causes of death were not facts.
    Defense argues infant death was not murder

    Changing stories, pathology reports in focus at murder trial for death of Miller County infant

  3. #18
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    Woman gets 5 years in prison for involuntary manslaughter of newborn

    http://www.abc17news.com/news/crime/...born/587360770

    "(The law) does remember the nameless, the faceless victims, like Hannah Usnick, who will never have an opportunity in life," he said. "During the defendant's entire presentation, I heard how this was a tragedy for the entire family and the entire world, but I didn't hear Hannah's name hardly once."

    Despite the emotional testimony, Judge John O'Malley sentenced Usnick to five years in prison.

    He said during his ruling that he could see Usnick was not an evil person but despite that, she had to be punished for the crime.

  4. #19
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    Five years total for mother guilty of infant’s manslaughter, drug possession in 2009

    http://www.lakenewsonline.com/news/2...ession-in-2009

    On July 14, 2017, Senior Judge John O’Malley sentenced Usnick, 42, to five years in the Missouri Department of Corrections, and three days later the former St. Elizabeth resident pled guilty to two remaining charges — second degree endangering the welfare of a child, a Class A misdemeanor, and possession of a controlled substance except 35-grams or less of marijuana, a Class C, felony.

    O’Malley — who was assigned to the case in August of 2016 when it was transferred from Miller County to Warrensburg — sentenced Usnick to an additional five years for the possession charge to be served concurrently with the manslaughter conviction and 90 days in the Miller County jail with credit for time served for the endangering charge.

    Usnick’s total sentence of five years began on July 14 when she was taken into custody following the first of two sentencing hearings in which family members spoke in support of the now remarried mother of four.

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