Judge refuses to bar doctor's testimony during infant death trial
A judge denied a motion Wednesday to exclude testimony from a doctor at a Chicago pediatric hospital during an upcoming trial for a woman charged with causing the death of an infant she was babysitting in 2016.
May 11, 2022
CROWN POINT — A judge denied a motion Wednesday to exclude testimony from a doctor at a Chicago pediatric hospital during an upcoming trial for a woman charged with causing the death of an infant she was babysitting in 2016.
Trisha Woodworth, 31, of Calumet Township, has pleaded not guilty to multiple felony charges filed in connection with the death of 8-month-old Maci Moor in April 2016.
Woodworth's attorneys, Harold Hagberg and Andreas Kyres, filed a motion seeking to exclude the testimony of Dr. Jill Glick, who works for University of Chicago Comer Children's Hospital in Chicago and concluded Maci's injuries were consistent with shaken baby syndrome.
Hagberg told Lake Criminal Court Judge Samuel Cappas Glick's testimony during a hearing earlier this year was based on prejudice and bias, not reliable scientific principles.
Lake County Supervisory Deputy Prosecutor Eric Randall said Glick has more than 30 years of experience as a pediatrician and has written peer-reviewed scholarly articles.
Glick painted the defense's three experts at outliers with regard to their opinions on abusive head trauma, he said.
"This was always 'a battle of the experts' case," Randall said. "We'll put our experts on. They'll put their experts on."
It's the jury's duty to decide which experts are more credible, he said.
Cappas said Glick was qualified to testify as an expert witness.
One of the defense's experts testified there is a 50/50 split among experts in the field about the science upon which Glick based her opinion, the judge said.
"It's for the jury to decide whom they will believe and whom they will not," Cappas said.
Hagberg said the defense's position is that Maci died as a result of an injury she suffered four days before Woodworth called an ambulance for her.
According to court records, Maci's parents told police a bruise on her forehead appeared after she accidentally fell and hit her head on a wood floor April 11, 2016, while playing with a "jump-a-roo."
Police and prosecutors allege Woodworth caused the baby's injuries, because she was the only person with Maci in the hours before she called an ambulance April 15, 2016.
Maci was taken to a local hospital and flown to Comer Children's Hospital, where she was declared brain dead April 17, 2016.
Woodworth's jury trial is scheduled for the week of July 11.
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