- Associated Press - Thursday, April 3, 2014

GREAT FALLS, Mont. (AP) - A federal judge has denied a motion to dismiss a second-degree murder charge filed against a Box Elder woman in the October death of her boyfriend’s 11-month-old son.

Attorneys representing Cecilia Gardipee, 22, sought dismissal of the murder charge and a charge of assault resulting in serious bodily injury filed after the Oct. 21 death of Kaidynce Small, saying prosecutors failed to promptly disclose an autopsy report detailing the boy’s fatal injuries. In the alternative, defense attorneys sought restrictions on prosecution evidence allowed at Gardipee’s trial.

Prosecutors argued that the motion was filed while the two sides were negotiating a plea agreement and that defense attorney Jeffrey Foster said he wouldn’t file the motion to dismiss if prosecutors accepted a plea agreement they were unsatisfied with.

District Judge Brian Morris said he wasn’t persuaded by March 13 arguments on the defense motion, the Great Falls Tribune (http://gftrib.com/1j4yYRf) reports.

However, the judge did chastise assistant U.S. Attorney Danna Jackson, saying the autopsy report should have been disclosed earlier.

The prosecution said it believed the medical examiner’s report was included in original discovery turned over in mid-December. The defense has known the conclusions of the autopsy since then, even though the full report wasn’t turned over until mid-February, prosecutors argued.

Garrett “Kirby” LaFromboise, 21, has pleaded guilty to assault in his son’s death in a plea agreement that calls for dismissal of a second-degree murder charge. LaFromboise acknowledged putting his fingers in the boy’s mouth to gag him and try to make him stop crying before punching him in the stomach.

Prosecutors say the boy also suffered from skull fractures, bleeding and bruising on the brain.

Gardipee’s trial is set for April 29.

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Information from: Great Falls Tribune, http://www.greatfallstribune.com

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