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Appeals court upholds conviction of woman in toddler’s death

June 12, 2018

CHICAGO (AP) — An Illinois appeals court has upheld the conviction of a suburban Chicago woman in the January 2009 death of a toddler in her care.

The court rejected arguments by lawyers for Melissa Calusinski that X-rays showed Benjamin Kingman didn’t die from a skull fracture as prosecutors claimed. The lawyers contended the 16-month-old died from a prior injury resulting from his habit of banging his head against the floor.

The Deerfield boy was attending a day care center in Lincolnshire when authorities say Calusinski hurled him to the floor.

Calusinski’s lawyers said original X-rays of the boy found in the Lake County coroner’s office after the trial were withheld from the defense.

The court ruled had the original X-rays been produced at trial, it probably wouldn’t have changed the verdict.

Monday’s ruling means Calusinski must serve her 31-year prison sentence.

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