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Murder suspect was drunk, report says

Erin Christine Martin, 42, of Paso Robles was arrested Saturday, Jan. 8, 2011, on suspicion of murder and assault on a child causing death. Original story »
Erin Christine Martin, 42, of Paso Robles was arrested Saturday, Jan. 8, 2011, on suspicion of murder and assault on a child causing death. Original story »

The Paso Robles woman who allegedly killed her infant daughter was drunk on the night she called police, according to a District Attorney’s Office investigative report.

Erin Christine Martin, 42, was arrested Saturday on suspicion of murder after an extensive investigation, which included an evaluation of medical evidence and multiple interviews with Martin, according to the report.

Martin called 911 on June 16 about 9:41 p.m. and told Paso Robles Police Department officials the 3 1⁄2-month-old child was unconscious and had not been breathing for 30 minutes.

The girl was “white and blue in color,” according to the police officer who arrived at the scene, the report states.

After hospitalization at Twin Cities Community Hospital in Templeton for emergency treatment and then at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, the baby was pronounced dead June 18.

Pathologist Gary Walter determined the cause of death was severe lack of oxygen to the brain because of blunt trauma to the abdomen.

Martin’s blood-alcohol level was 0.23 percent the night of the incident. Her blood-alcohol level was examined from a specimen obtained June 16.

Martin initially told police the medical emergency was the result of “pet dander” in the residence where she was staying, the report states.

She also told a friend she left the child alone in the bedroom while she went to the kitchen to prepare something to eat.

When she returned, the child was in a deep sleep, Martin told her friend. The conversation between the two was recorded inside the Paso Robles Police Department holding facility when Martin called her friend.

The report also noted that Martin told a detective Oct. 19 that a former roommate and a friend performed the “baby Heimlich” on the child three days before the child stopped breathing while they were baby-sitting.

“Both persons deny the choking incident ever occurred and both denied having to administer the Heimlich technique on the child,” the report states.

Martin is being charged with the crimes of murder and assaulting a child under 8 years old resulting in death.

Martin has not yet been arraigned in San Luis Obispo Superior Court. Her attorney, Michael Adams, declined to comment Thursday.

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