An attorney for a Virginia woman on trial for the death of her fiance’s baby suggested the baby’s 8-year-old sister was responsible.
During the trial's opening arguments on Sept. 28, Emily Defries’ attorney, James Broccoletti, introduced the theory that the 20-month-old baby's older sister was responsible for her death, citing the child's history of violent outbursts.
At the time of the baby’s death in May 2014, Defries, her biological son and her fiance's two daughters were the only people at their home in Norfolk, Virginia.
When authorities arrived, Defries said she found the baby at the bottom of the stairs.
The baby’s death was determined to be from shaken baby syndrome as well as blunt force trauma to the head, reports 13 News Now.
It appears Defries called 911 to report the baby’s death on the same day she was proposed to, reports Daily Mail.
According to reports, the baby began to suffer unexplained injuries around the time Defries became involved with her father. A daycare worker testified to having noticed scratches and marks on the child.
Days before her death, the baby — named Anna — screamed at the sight of Defries when she came to pick her up from daycare, the worker added.
Defries is currently being held without bond on charges of second-degree murder and malicious wounding, according to Daily Mail. She has pleaded not guilty to both charges.