by Pat Kimbrough
10.06.09 - 09:43 pm
HIGH POINT – It’s unclear whether Tuesday’s court ruling brings an end to the Mary Elizabeth Roach case.
The state could appeal to the North Carolina Supreme Court, but there is no guarantee the case will be heard. Since the North Carolina Court of Appeals ruling was unanimous, the state would have to file a petition to have the high court review the case.
“On behalf of Mary Beth and her family, we are extremely grateful that the Court of Appeals unanimously affirmed Judge Craig’s decision to dismiss the state’s case for lack of evidence. ... From the beginning, we have believed in Mary Beth’s innocence.”
Medical evidence was central to the case, according to the ruling. Defense experts could not determine precisely how Hailey died but argued that pre-existing injuries on the surface of her brain didn’t heal correctly and could have re-bled, causing seizures that led to her death. No time frame was established on when or how injuries to Hailey were inflicted and medical experts for the state and Roach agreed that she suffered a subdural hematoma sometime in the weeks preceding her death, the ruling pointed out.
“The nature and severity of Hailey’s fatal injuries were not of the type that would necessarily have to be intentionally inflicted,” the ruling stated.
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