Nation/World

Judge’s Ruling On Au Pair’s Fate Won’t Come Until At Least Monday

British au pair Louise Woodward and those anxiously watching her murder case on both sides of the Atlantic will have to wait until at least Monday for a judge to decide her fate.

Judge Hiller B. Zobel, who is away at a conference the rest of this week, will post his ruling on the Internet through legal and media Web sites.

Defense lawyers asked Zobel on Tuesday to void the 19-year-old’s second-degree murder conviction, order a new trial or reduce the verdict to manslaughter. The prosecution argued that last week’s verdict should stand.

The jury found that Woodward had shaken and slammed 8-month-old Matthew Eappen on Feb. 4, the day she called 911 to say the boy was having trouble breathing. Matthew died five days later.

Supporters of Woodward believe she is innocent or is guilty only of manslaughter. About 25 people kept a vigil outside the courthouse.

Support for Woodward is strong in her hometown of Elton, where Rose Russell said she talked to Louise’s mother Wednesday. The mother told her Louise had been depressed since the verdict, but was encouraged after seeing television reports about the support in her hometown.

xxxx DECISION ONLINE The Associated Press has created a Web site for the judge’s decision that is accessible to everyone. The World Wide Web address is wire.ap.org/woodward/



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