Mistrial declared in Calif. babysitting death case

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Updated: 2/15/2013 4:34 pm

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — A mistrial has been declared in of murder trial of a Northern California woman accused of killing a 17-month old girl she was babysitting.

A Fresno County jury became deadlocked Thursday after not reaching a unanimous verdict on murder and a second charge against babysitter Megan Martzen in the death of toddler Ella VanLeeuwen.

Prosecutors argued that the 22-year-old Martzen of Reedley caused Ella's death in Feb. 2009. Martzen claims that the young girl fell off a bed.

A hung jury was reached after a majority of jurors voted Martzen not guilty on both charges of second-degree murder and child abuse causing death.

Prosecutor Jeff Dupras said that his office will retry the case.

Martzen's defense attorney Jeff Hammerschmidt said prosecutors should consider dropping the charges.

The parties will meet again for a status hearing on March 7.


©2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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