Crime

Paso woman accused of neglect in baby's death asks to withdraw plea

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 »

A Paso Robles woman who pleaded no contest to causing the 2010 death of her 3-month-old daughter wants to withdraw her plea, her attorney announced in court Monday.

Erin Martin, 45, was scheduled to be sentenced Monday and faced six to 10 years in state prison for child neglect resulting in death. Instead, she withdrew her no contest plea, and her case was continued to Dec. 9.

The baby, named Grace, died June 18, 2010, two days after Martin called 911. Her child had been unresponsive for about 20 to 30 minutes.

During a preliminary hearing, a medical examiner testified that a pool of blood in the child’s abdomen suggested she was the victim of blunt force trauma. Meanwhile, investigators said Martin was drunk when police responded to the incident.

But Martin’s attorney, Ken Cirisan, argued then that the baby had a myriad of health issues and had spent a month at a hospital less than two weeks before her death. Injuries to the baby’s abdomen, Cirisan argued, could have been caused by CPR given by Martin and a police officer who arrived on the scene.

Initially charged with murder and assaulting a child under 8 years old resulting in death, Martin pleaded no contest in October to child neglect with an enhancement for causing death.

Superior Court Judge Jacquelyn Duffy will consider a motion to withdraw the plea on Dec. 9.

  Comments