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Nanny, 18, Pleads Innocent To Murdering Infant

Boston Globe

Louise Woodward, the British au pair accused of assaulting a nine-month-old baby and fracturing his skull has pleaded not guilty to murder.

Woodward, 18, was stoic and silent during a brief arraignment in Newton District Court. Her lawyer, Maria Galvagna, asked Judge Conrad Bletzer to free Woodward on her own recognizance, but the judge denied the request - and withdrew Woodward’s $100,000 bail.

At the hearing, prosecutor Lynn Rooney said a preliminary autopsy showed that the infant, Matthew Eappen, had a 2-1/2-inch crack in the back of his skull. The child died from the head injuries.

“The force applied was extremely strong,” Rooney told the court. “He was struck against a very hard object.”

The autopsy also revealed a month-old fracture on the baby’s wrist. The injury, which apparently was never treated by a doctor, may have been caused by someone pulling his arm.

Prosecutors are investigating whether Woodward may have assaulted the baby before.

Woodward was arrested Feb. 5, a day after allegedly violently shaking the baby hard enough to cause brain damage. The baby died last Sunday after several days on life support.

Newton is a Boston suburb.

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