- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 3, 2015

PATERSON, N.J. (AP) - Text messages sent by a northern New Jersey woman charged with killing her newborn baby can be used against her at trial, a state appeals court ruled.

Keri Barry sent messages to a friend about the cost of an abortion, her wish for a miscarriage, and that she took a large dose of birth-control pills, according to authorities. An appeal court said Monday those messages can be used as evidence, The Record reported (https://bit.ly/1z7Jc87 ).

Barry is charged with killing a newborn baby boy prosecutors say she gave birth to at home in December 2009. The baby was found in garbage bags outside of her house.

Barry maintains the baby was stillborn. Defense attorney John Bruno argued that the messages were inflammatory and had little or no relevance to the charges. He said he’s considering an appeal to the state Supreme Court.

“We feel very confident that when all the facts come out, our client will be exonerated,” Bruno told the newspaper.

The appeals court agreed with Passaic County Superior Court Judge Raymond Reddin who said the messages can be used at trial.

“Defendant’s state of mind about the prospect of giving birth is relevant to a potential motive to terminate the pregnancy, and to an alleged intent not to assist the baby to survive a live birth,” the panel wrote.

The court did overrule Reddin’s decision to allow another set of messages that Barry sent to a friend, in which she said she would never intentionally harm the child. The appeals court ruled that those messages, sent in 2012 after Barry was charged with murder, should be excluded.


Information from: The Record (Woodland Park, N.J.), https://www.northjersey.com

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