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Rat poison not yet linked to Shuai newborn death

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Prosecutors acknowledged Thursday they could not currently provide a witness who would definitively testify that rat poison Bei Bei Shuai ingested was the cause of her newborn’s death, for which she stands charged with murder.

“I’m concerned hearing this in a case that was filed in (March) 2011,” Marion Superior Judge Sheila Carlisle said during a motions hearing.

Meantime, Carlisle warned prosecutors and defense attorneys she would grant no more continuances for the trial of Shuai, whose newborn daughter died days after Shuai had consumed poison in a failed suicide attempt after being jilted by the baby’s father.

Prosecutors said a Michigan expert reviewing evidence had still not rendered an opinion on the cause of the infant’s death, though prosecutors previously told Carlisle and defense attorneys they expected the doctor’s review would be completed in mid- to late-April.

“To not know what his position is is very unjust,” defense attorney Linda Pence told Carlisle. The expert now is scheduled to be deposed by both sides in mid-May. Shuai is scheduled to stand trial Sept. 3.

Deputy prosecutor Courtney Curtis told Carlisle the expert was “two-thirds of the way through the process” of determining a cause of death. “These people are scientists and they’re very cautious with what their process is. We’re just not there yet,” Curtis said.

After Thursday’s hearing, Pence said Shuai has been charged with murder for more than two years, but “as of now, they’ve not presented any testimony from an expert” on cause of death. “It’s alarming to me.”

Carlisle ruled in January that a medical examiner’s testimony that rat poison caused the death was unreliable and not admissible.

The Shuai case became international news after charges were filed. Pence says charges should never have been brought and represents a criminalization of conduct for which men and non-pregnant women would not have been prosecuted.

Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry said in an August interview that the language of criminal statutes under which Shuai was charged is plain, and he had no hesitation about filing charges once facts of the case were known because Shuai’s conduct fell within that language.
Carlisle acknowledged the hundreds of potential exhibits from prosecutors and the defense and made the pronouncement that rather than granting continuances, evidence would be stricken if it didn’t meet deadlines.

“This is going to be a monumental case and it’s going to take a lot of cooperation,” Carlisle said. “There is no continuation of this jury date.”

Carlisle also Thursday heard a motion in limine from Pence to bar autopsy photos of newborn Angel Shuai. Pence said the photos shouldn’t be admitted before the defense has had an opportunity to know who might be testifying regarding cause of death.

Carlisle said she would rule on that motion later, along with a dozen prosecution motions in limine seeking to limit broad ranges of testimony and courtroom conduct, including: prior convictions or bad acts or potential witnesses; references to lack of criminal history or residence status of potential witnesses; decisions about prior plea offers and prosecution; limiting courtroom attire such as shirts, hats or buttons that advocate a position on the prosecution; and statements that illicit sympathy.

In only one instance did Carlisle act on a motion before her Thursday, granting a prosecution request to bar any evidence pertaining to a potential range of sentencing if Shuai were convicted of murder.   




 
 

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  1. You can put your photos anywhere you like... When someone steals it they know it doesn't belong to them. And, a man getting a divorce is automatically not a nice guy...? That's ridiculous. Since when is need of money a conflict of interest? That would mean that no one should have a job unless they are already financially solvent without a job... A photographer is also under no obligation to use a watermark (again, people know when a photo doesn't belong to them) or provide contact information. Hey, he didn't make it easy for me to pay him so I'll just take it! Well heck, might as well walk out of the grocery store with a cart full of food because the lines are too long and you don't find that convenient. "Only in Indiana." Oh, now you're passing judgement on an entire state... What state do you live in? I need to characterize everyone in your state as ignorant and opinionated. And the final bit of ignorance; assuming a photo anyone would want is lucky and then how much does your camera have to cost to make it a good photo, in your obviously relevant opinion?

  2. Seventh Circuit Court Judge Diane Wood has stated in “The Rule of Law in Times of Stress” (2003), “that neither laws nor the procedures used to create or implement them should be secret; and . . . the laws must not be arbitrary.” According to the American Bar Association, Wood’s quote drives home this point: The rule of law also requires that people can expect predictable results from the legal system; this is what Judge Wood implies when she says that “the laws must not be arbitrary.” Predictable results mean that people who act in the same way can expect the law to treat them in the same way. If similar actions do not produce similar legal outcomes, people cannot use the law to guide their actions, and a “rule of law” does not exist.

  3. Linda, I sure hope you are not seeking a law license, for such eighteenth century sentiments could result in your denial in some jurisdictions minting attorneys for our tolerant and inclusive profession.

  4. Mazel Tov to the newlyweds. And to those bakers, photographers, printers, clerks, judges and others who will lose careers and social standing for not saluting the New World (Dis)Order, we can all direct our Two Minutes of Hate as Big Brother asks of us. Progress! Onward!

  5. My daughter was taken from my home at the end of June/2014. I said I would sign the safety plan but my husband would not. My husband said he would leave the house so my daughter could stay with me but the case worker said no her mind is made up she is taking my daughter. My daughter went to a friends and then the friend filed a restraining order which she was told by dcs if she did not then they would take my daughter away from her. The restraining order was not in effect until we were to go to court. Eventually it was dropped but for 2 months DCS refused to allow me to have any contact and was using the restraining order as the reason but it was not in effect. This was Dcs violating my rights. Please help me I don't have the money for an attorney. Can anyone take this case Pro Bono?

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