***UPDATED 4:30 P.M.***The case against a Randolph County woman accused of killing her newborn baby continues to move forward.In May 2011, police say Cassidy King dumped the body of her baby in a pond off Route H near Higbee. King is charged with second degree murder and appeared in court for a preliminary hearing Wednesday.The prosecution’s first witness and King’s sister, Jaime Clark, recalled finding a duffel bag in her family’s pond. Inside the bag, she says was the decomposed body of a baby.”The clothing is untied and we noticed there was a baby,” said Clark.Clark says it was Mother’s Day 2011 when she found the baby near her grandparents’ home. The preliminary hearing Wednesday centered on the bag that Clark says she had seen before.”There was a red duffel bag that had been missing,” said Clark. “It was hers. It was Cassidy’s.”Prosecutor Mike Fussellman called four witnesses during the hearing, including a friend of King’s, the medical examiner, and an investigator.Sgt. Steve Wilhoit of the Missouri State Highway Patrol says inside the duffel bag, investigators found a cinder block, clothing and a towel. When questioned on the name written on the towel recovered from the bag, Sgt. Wilhoit said it was Cassidy King.King’s friend, Christian Lierly, testified connecting her friend to the crime itself.”She was pretty hysterical, sobbing a lot uncontrollably, saying she’d done something horrible,” said Lierly, recalling a phone call from King. “It did include something about a baby and grandma’s.”Fusselman’s final witness was the medical examiner who conducted the autopsy on the baby. Both the prosecution and defense tried to use his findings to their advantage.The medical examiner, Dr. Edward Adelstein, says it is difficult to pinpoint a single cause for the infant’s death. “We would indicate this baby was a live birth and death occurred shortly after delivery,” said Adelstein.Adelstein says a number of factors, including a fractured leg, exposure to cocaine and methamphetamine, and a lack of medical attention contributed to the death.”And in this case, I feel that the actions of neglect, the action of trauma led to the death and I would rule this case a homicide,” said Adelstein. “Among also the fact that the baby was exposed to illicit drugs.”The defense made aware that under Missouri law, a mother’s exposure to or use of drugs during pregnancy cannot be used to rule a homicide. The defense says if that’s the case, King cannot be held accountable.King’s attorney worked to create doubt that King could be responsible for any factor that contributed to the death.The prosecution told ABC 17 News that Wednesday’s hearing went as planned and it would not be surprising if the defense asked for a change of venue. That request could come as early as next week.King is scheduled to be arraigned on October 24th for the case.***ORIGINAL STORY***A Moberly woman charged with the death of her newborn will be in court Wednesday morning.26-year-old Cassidy King is charged with second degree murder in the death of her baby. She’s accused of throwing the baby’s body into a pond near Higbee last year.King will be in court for a preliminary hearing which is expected to last two hours.
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