Preliminary Hearing Sends Newborn Death Case To Circuit Court - Northern Michigan's News Leader

Preliminary Hearing Sends Newborn Death Case To Circuit Court

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Alyce Morales' preliminary hearing went for several hours Thursday afternoon in a Benzie County courtroom.

In the end, a judge determined there is enough probable cause and the case has been bound over to circuit court to go to trial.

Prosecutors are seeking a charge of open murder. It will be up to a jury to decide if its first or second degree murder. If she's found guilty of first degree murder, she could face life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Morales' bond was denied. She is being held in jail until she's arraigned in circuit court, but no date for that hearing has been set.

The medical examiner says the baby had fractures to its skull.

The prosecutor is arguing those fractures are intentional.

The defense is arguing the fractures were accidental, caused by a complicated delivery.

Morales' attorney did say on the record that Alyce's mother did know about the pregnancy, and even gave water and crackers to Alyce as she was in labor, but essentially left her to fend for herself.

Morales showed little emotion during the hearing. Her family was there. They are commuting back and forth from Chicago.