In the Spring of 2008, an 18 year old, first time mother, brought her five week old daughter to the hospital emergency room. The child was diagnosed with multiple bone fractures. Approximately nine months later the Philadelphia Police arrested the mother and charged her with Aggravated Assault and related offenses as a result of the injuries suffered by her daughter. She retained Perry de Marco, Sr. to represent her. While awaiting trial on this case, she again became pregnant. Her second child, a son, was born in the Fall of 2009. Five weeks later, the infant boy was also taken to the hospital emergency room suffering with injuries similar to those suffered by his sister. Unfortunately the infant boy was also diagnosed with permanent brain injuries. Several weeks later, the mother was again arrested and again charged with Aggravated Assault and related offenses relating to her son. This time the Philadelphia Police also arrested the father of the children and charged him with the crime of Endangering the Welfare of a Child. The District Attorney moved to have all of the cases, consolidated, (tried together). The trial court granted this motion over the objection of the defense.
In October of 2010 the case proceeded to trial before a Philadelphia Common Pleas Judge and Jury. Shortly before the trial started, the father entered into plea negotiations with the District Attorney and agreed to testify against his wife. The District Attorney proceeded on the theory that the injuries to both children were caused by the mother and not by the father. During the trial the District Attorney called multiple witnesses in an effort to support the Commonwealth’s theory of the case. These included, the father, police officers, detectives, emergency personnel, neighbors, as well as a physician specializing in child abuse. The district attorney also introduced extensive physical and documentary evidence including photographs, medical records, tapes of 911 calls as well as tapes of intercepted telephone conversations between the defendant and her husband.
Perry de Marco, Sr represented the mother at the trial. He vigorously attacked the Commonwealth’s evidence as being woefully insufficient to prove that it was the Defendant Mother who was responsible for the horrific injuries suffered by both children. The jury agreed. The young mother was found not guilty of Aggravated Assault as to both of her children.