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Revised Autopsy Spurs Baby Sitter’s Appeal in Shaken Baby Case

Posted Sep 17, 2009 6:56 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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A Texas baby sitter who has served nearly seven years in prison after her conviction for shaking a baby to death has filed an appeal citing a medical examiner’s revision of the original autopsy.

The medical examiner in Harris County, Texas, “has quietly rewritten” the results of the 1998 autopsy, the Houston Chronicle reports. The office released new findings last year in the death of 4-month-old Abbey Clements, finding no evidence of trauma and concluding the cause of death is undetermined.

Former nurse Cynthia Cash, 53, has served all but six months of a seven-year sentence in the case for felony injury to a child. A defense expert testified at her trial that Clements likely suffered a fatal reaction to a vaccine. The new autopsy could not substantiate that conclusion.

The associate medical examiner who performed the original autopsy, Patricia Moore, now works for a private company that does forensic work for six counties. Personnel records show that Moore was repeatedly disciplined while working for the county for failing to follow procedures and favoring the prosecution, the story says. Moore’s autopsies have been revised in three other cases.

Hat tip to Grits for Breakfast.

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