MOTHER TESTIFIES OF TRAGIC DAY

Charlotte Observer, The (NC)
July 20, 1996Section: METRO Edition: ONE & TWOPage: 1C
Her voice choked with tears, Amy Stuart testified in a Catawba County courtroom Fridayabout the last days of her baby daughter’s life.
Stuartwas the first witness called by the state in the capital murder trial of her husband,Marcus Stuart.He is accused of beating to death the couple’s 10-week-old daughter,Megan, one year ago.'”I ran into the house and into the bedroom and Megan was lying on the edge of the bed.The child wasn’t alive,” Amy Stuart said. “She just had this stare. . . the child wasn’talive.”
Stuart said her husband had called for an ambulance twice because Megan had “stopped breathing.”
The first time, on July 6, 1995, paramedics examined the baby and left after resuscitatingher. The next morning, Stuart said, she took the baby to her regular pediatrician at Catawba Memorial Hospital.Stuart testified the doctor could not find anything wrong with the infant.
On July 8, Stuart told the jury, she went to work as a manager at Burger King and calledhome to check on Megan about 7:30 a.m. Everything was fine. Ten minutes later,Stuart said, her husband called her and was “completely hysterical,
“He said, She stopped breathing again, Mama,’ “Stuart told the courtroom.I dropped everything and went right home.”
When she got there, Stuartsaid, an ambulance was in the driveway of her mobile homein Conover. Rescue workers were performing mouth-to-mouth resuscitation on Megan. The baby was rushed to Catawba Memorial Hospitaland then to Baptist Hospital in Winston-Salem.
Stuarttestified that doctors there discovered the child had two broken legs and was”bleeding in the brain.”
” Marcus asked how it occurred and the doctor said it was caused by shaking, droppingor trauma,” Stuart said.
Opening arguments in the trial were Friday.
Marcus Stuart’s lawyer, Ted Cummings, said the prosecution could not prove its casebeyond a reasonable doubt. Cummings promised the evidence would show that his client did not harm the baby.
Stuart testified that no one besides she and her husband, a machinist at Poly mask Corp. took care of Megan. She also told the court that she asked her husband how the injuries happened and that he said he didn’t know.
Amy Stuart told the court her husband had never abused her or her 4-year~old daughter from a previous marriage and that she’d never seen him abuse Megan.
Marcus Stuart cried as his wife recounted the baby’s last few hours at Baptist Hospital.
“I held her until she died, for 10 or 15 minutes or so,” Stuartsaid. “Then we carried herback to the (hospital) nursery. . . I remember the nurses telling me that I had to let hergo”
His lawyers wouldn’t say whether Marcus Stuart would take the stand. If he is convicted of first degree murder, he could receive the death penalty.

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~ by mamadubs on January 12, 2006.

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