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Judge denies request for new trial from woman convicted of killing her autistic daughter

Posted Nov 07 2011 6:24pm

Karen McCarron will likey not be getting a new trial on appeal. This from an associated press story:

Pekin, Ill. — A judge in central Illinois has denied a request for a new trial from a woman convicted in the suffocation death of her autistic 3-year-old daughter.

Tazewell County Judge Stuart Borden wasn’t swayed by lawyers for Karen McCarron, who argued that her trial attorney wasn’t effective. They contend the attorney should have let McCarron explain that she killed the girl because she suffered from a “religious delusion” that the child would rise from the dead without autism.

The Pekin Daily Times (http://bit.ly/vI1eUP) reports Borden ruled last week that there’s no evidence the attorney was ineffective. He also dismissed claims that the trial attorney was impaired by alcohol, calling that “completely spurious.”

McCarron is serving a 36-year prison term. She suffocated Katie McCarron with a plastic bag in May 2006.

and this story from PekinTimes.com 9with apologies for copying it in total):

With precision aim, a Tazewell County judge this week shot down every argument Karen McCarron raised in her latest effort to win a new trial for her killing of her young autistic daughter.

Unless an appellate court disagrees with him, McCarron, 42, formerly of Morton, will continue serving her 36-year prison term for suffocating 3-year-old Katie McCarron with a plastic bag in May 2006.

McCarron, through attorney Karla Fischer of Champaign, hoped to convince Circuit Judge Stuart Borden that her constitutional rights were breached by the ineptitude of her trial attorney because he never enabled her to explain that she killed Katie with the supposed “religious delusion” that the girl would rise from the dead without autism.

There is no evidence of that, Borden said in his ruling Wednesday that granted prosecutors’ motion to dismiss McCarron’s request for post-conviction relief.

The work of Chicago-area attorney Marc Wolfe in her defense “did not fall below an objective standard of reasonableness,” Borden said. Even if it did, “it certainly did not result in actual prejudice” against McCarron.

McCarron, a forensic pathologist, said after killing her daughter that she hated autism, blamed herself for causing it in Katie and believed Katie would not suffer from it in heaven.

An insanity defense raised in trial made no mention of religious delusions that Jesus would reawaken Katie without autism. Her jury found her guilty of first-degree murder in January 2008.

Borden also dismissed Fischer’s claim that Wolfe was impaired by alcohol during the case as “completely spurious and unsupported by the record.”

(note: this was edited shortly after first being published)

  1. Julian Frost:
    Good.
  2. MikeMa:
    I agree. Have fun in prison.
  3. Kassiane:
    Oh good. Those who love & miss Katie have been through enough without yet another retrial and appeal.

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