Mother pleads not guilty in babies’ deaths in Blackstone squalor house

By: Samantha Lavien
Slavien@abc6.com
Twitter: @samanthalavien

Months after three dead infants were found in a Blackstone home, their mother 31-year-old Erika Murray quietly pleaded not guilty to two counts of murder related to their deaths.

Murray was arraigned on nine counts Monday morning in Worcester Superior Court. The charges against her were upgraded following an indictment earlier this month.

In court, the Prosecutor told the judge that evidence suggests two of those babies were alive for some period of time.

“She specifically told police that one of the babies that she thought was a girl had lived in the home for a period of about 1 to 3 weeks,” said Assistant District Attorney John Bradley.

But the Defense says there is no proof Murray did anything to harm the infants and says that police put words in her mouth.

“There is no evidence as to how long they were alive, no evidence of how they died. No evidence that Miss Murray had anything to do with causing their deaths,” said Defense Attorney Keith Halpern.

Two of Murray’s other four kids were discovered living among the feces and dead animals in the home in very poor health.

The prosecutor described one of the many medical challenges the three-year-old faced.

“The pediatricians literally had to literally clean the maggots out of her ears so that she was able to hear,” said Bradley.

In response to the deplorable conditions, Murray’s attorney has repeatedly pointed to a mental health issue.

“The two younger children, plainly were like captives in this house. They never left the house because she was determined to hide them. But they weren’t the only captives in this house. She was there too,” said Halpern.

The children’s father claims he didn’t know about the two younger kids she was hiding.

He’s facing many serious charges in relation to the case as well.

Murray is being held without bail she is due back in court in February.

© WLNE-TV 2014