Defense attorneys for a former Lincolnshire day care worker accused of killing a toddler are in court Tuesday to argue the boy died because of a previous injury.
Attorneys for Melissa Calusinski, 24, filed new documents claiming she did not cause the death of Benjamin Kingan after allegedly thowing him to the ground on Jan. 14, 2009, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.
Calusinski's attorneys say medical evidence shows the 16-month-old boy died from a previous, undiagnosed head injury. Two pathologists expected to be called as expert witnesses have concluded Kingan suffered a severe head injury that caused bleeding in his brain weeks before Calusinski allegedly slammed the child on the ground, defense attorneys said.
Questions rose in February after the forensic pathologist testified he did not recall telling detectives the boy died 30 minutes to three hours after the impact.
Calusinski also claimed the child was sick days before his death at the shuttered Minee Subee day care center. "On that Monday, before the incident happened, the child came to school. He was vomiting profusely, meaning it was projectile. He was real, real sick," said Calusinski.
The boy was found dead in his favorite bouncy chair, clutching his blanket. Kingan's family settled with the day care center for $2 million in March.
Calusinski faces first-degree murder charges. Her attoneys are seeking to have her $5 million bail reduced to $1 million.
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