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Expert testifies in trial of Santa Maria teen accused of killing newborn

In a series of specific questions, Maribel S.’s attorney asked Psychology and Law Professor, Richard Leo, about practices police used when they interrogated her about allegedly killing her newborn baby, Anthony.

They carefully and meticulously went through sections of a transcript reflecting an interrogation between officers and Maribel. They pointed out the possibility of a language barrier and officers repeatedly asking her to “tell the truth.”

The defense points out the wording of the officers’ questions towards Maribel, at one point asking her to admit if she was a baby killing monster or had just made a mistake.

The expert talked about officers developing psychological ways to interview a suspect and the difference between interviewing someone with open ended questions and interrogating a suspect with the goal of getting a confession out of them.

During the cross examination, the prosecution pointed out specific parts of the transcript talking about when Maribel had the baby and felt his heart beat.

They also discussed the specific details of how Maribel allegedly killed her baby something they say only she would have known as revealed in her confession.

The trail continues on Monday with the defense continuing to bring up experts to testify.

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