Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Hearing Weighs Trial Evidence in Baby's Death

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Hearing Weighs Trial Evidence in Baby's Death

Article excerpt

Emails and instant messages between a Wayne woman accused of killing her newborn child and a close friend clearly demonstrate the mother's strong desire not to have the baby, a prosecutor argued Thursday during a hearing to determine if the evidence will be admissible at her murder trial next month.

Among the comments presented during the hearing was one sent by Keri Barry on April 10, 2009, after she missed her period in which she tells her friend, "I swallowed, like, two weeks worth of birth control pills and I was soo lightheaded at work ... I was like DIEEEE..."

Her friend replies, "It sounds like you did some damage. Let's hope that you did the damage that you hoped for. lol."

State Superior Court Judge Raymond A. Reddin did not decide whether he'll allow the messages to be admitted as evidence during the trial, scheduled to begin Feb. 10. He scheduled another hearing on the messages for Jan. 31

Barry's defense attorney, John Bruno of Rutherford, argued that they shouldn't be allowed, describing them as cryptic and riddled with inconsistencies, yet are likely to be prejudicial against his client.

"She didn't talk about what she was going to do once the baby was born," Bruno told the judge. "This is all surmise. Conjecture. Let's have a trial based on the evidence. Not the protected conversations in which a 21-year-old girl is talking about an unwanted pregnancy with her best friend.

"Obviously, when there's damning evidence against a defendant, it's always prejudicial. ... But this stuff is so out there, it should not be admissible."

Baby born in 2009

Passaic County Senior Assistant Prosecutor Robert Pringle countered: "What could be more relevant or probing? These are her words. Are they damning? Yes. But I didn't make her say them. They are her words. ... The jury doesn't need to hear this?"

Pringle also argued that the messages, obtained by investigators from email accounts, contradict Barry's initial statements to police after the baby's body was found that she didn't know she was pregnant until she gave birth, and that she thought she'd had a miscarriage. …

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