Rochester Woman Awarded New Trial in Child Abuse Case
St. Paul, MN (KROC-AM News) - The Minnesota Court of Appeals has granted a new trial to a Rochester woman who spent two weeks in jail after she was convicted last year of a gross misdemeanor count of malicious punishment of a child.
In its ruling, the Appeals Court judges found that misconduct by the prosecutor in the case denied 38-year-old Cassie Garza a fair trial. Her appeal was focused on statements made by the prosecutor during closing arguments that made reference to prior “substantiated allegations of abuse” against Garza after the judge in the case ruled evidence of previous allegations of child abuse inadmissible.
She was accused of placing her arms tightly around the neck of her teenage son, preventing him from breathing. She was originally charged with both malicious punishment of a child and a domestic assault charge, but the jury found her not guilty of the felony count.
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