Sarah Allen Judge denies request for mistrial

Relates to:
Date: 2005-02-19
Source: Sun Journal

AUBURN - The trial for a Lisbon mother accused of killing her son continued as scheduled Friday morning after the judge denied the defense's request for a mistrial.

The attorney for Sarah Allen requested a mistrial Thursday after a state witness started testifying about bruises found on the dead boy's buttocks.

Allen stands accused of manslaughter for allegedly shaking her 22-month-old son, Nathaniel, on Feb. 14, 2003, with enough force to kill him.

Before the trial began, Superior Court Justice Ellen Gorman barred any evidence about bruises found on the boy's buttocks on the night that he was rushed to the hospital.

The bruises were caused by Allen's husband in a separate incident, and Gorman ruled that telling jurors about them could be prejudicial.

Allen's attorney, Verne Paradie, requested a mistrial Thursday immediately after Dr. Lawrence Ricci, a child-abuse expert who examined Nathaniel, mentioned the bruises during his testimony.

Gorman denied the request in her chambers after speaking with attorneys on both sides.

The trial continued Friday with testimony from Nathaniel's pediatrician, Dr. Norman Sedar, and one of the nurses who works in his Brunswick office. Sedar described Nathaniel as a happy, healthy toddler who appeared to be well taken care of.

Allen's attorney hopes to convince the jury that the boy, who the Allens adopted from Guatemala, died as a result of a pre-existing, undetected neurological disorder.

The trial is expected to last another two weeks.

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