Appeals court overturns conviction of Missouri woman whose baby was found dead


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COLUMBIA, Mo. — A Missouri appeals court says the mother of a baby whose body was later found in a car trunk should not have been convicted of involuntary manslaughter.

The Columbia Daily Tribune reports the Missouri Western District Court of Appeals on Tuesday overturned the conviction of 43-year-old Emily Usnick, saying in a unanimous opinion that the state didn’t prove she acted recklessly or with criminal intent.

Usnick was originally charged with second-degree murder after her baby died in 2009. She was convicted in 2017 of involuntary manslaughter.

Prosecutors argued she gave birth unattended, failed to seek medical attention after the birth and enclosed the body in a plastic bag before putting it in the trunk.

The body was found during a drug raid at Usnick’s home in St. Elizabeth in Miller County.

Court documents show Usnick was also charged with drug possession and endangering a child. She pleaded guilty to both of those charges in 2017.

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