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Mom: I was pressed to confess in infant’s death

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ALLENTOWN, Pa. (AP) - An Alabama woman accused of killing her infant son a decade ago in eastern Pennsylvania has alleged that she was duped into meeting with police last summer and pressured to confess even though she was innocent.

Wendi Stanford, 31, of Florence, Ala., is charged in Lehigh County in the 2003 death of 2-month-old Christopher Harbin, who died two days after Stanford called 911 to report that he was unresponsive. An autopsy concluded that he died from a skull fracture.

Stanford wants prosecutors barred from using her statements to police in Alabama and testified Monday on the motion, The (Easton) Express-Times reported (http://bit.ly/1jqdkHj ).

She said she received a call from the Lauderdale County Department of Human Resources and thought she was talking to a caseworker because she had temporary custody of her three children at the time. When she learned that an Allentown detective was questioning her about Dillon's death, she was afraid she would lose custody of her children if she didn't cooperate, she said.

Stanford tearfully said she asked to call her husband but was told to wait, and police urged her to be honest about what happened to the child.

"They kept pressuring me to admit to something I didn't do," Stanford said.

A county detective, however, said she didn't seem upset after the interview or when she was arrested in September and transported to Allentown. In fact, he said, she gave directions and took part in casual conversations about hunting, taxidermy and tattoos.

Stanford, who remains in Lehigh County prison in lieu of bail, is scheduled to go on trial in July.

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Information from: The (Easton, Pa.) Express-Times, http://www.lehighvalleylive.com

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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