Cancel 3 Charges Against Woman at Baby-Sale Trial
Three of the nine counts against Mrs. Bess Bernard, 44, Manhattan housewife on trial with two Brooklyn lawyers accused of operating a $100,000-a-year Miami-to-New York blackmarket in babies, were dismissed yesterday b General Sessions Judge Valente.
The defense maintained the three counts involved acts prior to the time she is accused of entering into a conspiracy with Harry Wolfson, 37 of 260 Ocean Parkway, and Irwin Slater, 38, of 13 70th St.
Valente also dismissed one count each against Wolfson and Slater, but refused to dismiss the conspiracy counts against the latter and Mrs. Bernard, his sister-in-law of 925 West End Ave. Valente adjourned the trial to 10 A.M. today.
After seven days of testimony the state rested its case. Five young women told about selling their newborn babies to the ring for as little as $50 each. Foster parents of six infants testified they paid from $1,600 to $2,000.
Final witness yesterday was a 45-year-old Brooklyn stock clerk, who said he was "very grateful to Slater for the happiness he brought to our home." He added that after he brought a baby boy home from Miami last July by plane, Slater phoned several times to inquire about the infant.
He said he paid Slater $1,700 within 24 hours after receiving the infant in Miami.. He said he and Slater had the baby examined by a physician before the flight.
The state said later it will put on the stand another foster mother who allegedly "bought from the baby concern."