A woman accused of suffocating a five-month-old child she was babysitting nearly 20 years ago has lost an effort to have a recorded confession thrown out of Montgomery County Court. 38-year-old Melissa Haskell (pictured here) of Swedesburg said her ex-husband set her up for the confession, but a judge has ruled that the confession is admissible because it was not coerced.
Court documents filed by defense lawyers say her ex-husband’s sole motive in tipping off authorities about the alleged 1992 incident was to prevent their child’s mother from sharing custody. She is charged with third degree murder in the death of Ryan Baurley at his Upper Merion home.
The Montgomery County Coroner’s office ruled at the time that it was a case of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, also known as crib death. A review of the original autopsy, conducted last year, found bruises on the baby’s brain and larynx and alcohol in his blood.