Traverse City Record-Eagle

Archive: Sunday

August 18, 2013

More details sought in Benzie infant death case

BEULAH — A judge pushed back a court appearance for an Illinois teenager accused of slaying her newborn in a Benzie County campsite.

Alyce Morales, 19, of Cicero, Ill., faces one count of felony open murder and is scheduled for a preliminary exam on Sept. 5. Eighty-fifth District Court Judge Nancy Kida adjourned the case for 28 days to allow more investigation into the July 23 death of Morales' newborn, Marie.

"We're just continuing to investigate to figure out exactly what happened that day," said Benzie County Prosecutor Sara Swanson. "We want more interviews with witnesses, talk with doctors and possibly psychologists. We have a lot more to prove, including intent."

Morales was camping with her parents in Platte River Campground on July 22 when she gave birth alone in a tent. Authorities said Morales kept her pregnancy secret for fear of disappointing her family, but her defense attorney Jesse Williams said her parents told him otherwise. He disputes several assertions that are listed in a complaint and affidavit filed when Morales was charged.

"People are supposed to be presumed innocent until proven guilty," he said. "Media and certain law enforcement poisoned the jury pool. We don't even know what happened."

Williams said a statement in a court document that Morales admitted she "freaked out" and struck her child with her fist had been "misconstrued." He said no one has seen the autopsy report and he warned against "speculation" until the documents are made public.

"The only information that we do know is when EMS arrived and did vitals there doesn't seem to be a sense of emergency," he said, elaborating that the ambulance transported the infant to Munson Medical Center in a "non-emergency manner." The child was pronounced dead the next day at 9 a.m.

Text Only

Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Associated Press Video
Bill Murray Continues To Be Just Bill Murray By Eating Some Free Bill Murray Ice Cream Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect Hillary Clinton Blamed Bill's Affair With Monica Lewinsky On Abuse He Suffered As A Child 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot Samsung Pre-Trolls The IPhone 6 With New Ad Jimmy Kimmel Introduces His Baby Girl