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The Lake News Online
  • Mother’s trial delayed the day it should have started

  • The trial of a Miller County woman accused of second degree murder and abandonment of a corpse has been postponed until May 2014.
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  • The trial of a Miller County woman accused of second degree murder and abandonment of a corpse has been postponed until May 2014.
    Emily Usnick, 36, was scheduled for a jury trial to begin on Monday, Sept. 9, in Miller County. According to court records, the trial was postponed the same day it was scheduled to begin.
    The second degree murder charges came three years after sheriff's deputies found a baby dead in the trunk of a car.
    Usnick was first arrested in 2009 during a drug raid. Miller County deputies received an anonymous tip about drug activity at a home on Main Street in St. Elizabeth. The raid of the house led to deputies discovering an infant's body wrapped in plastic and placed in the trunk of a car. According to probable cause statements, Usnick gave birth to the baby girl several weeks earlier on January 15, 2009.
    Court documents allege Usnick gave birth in the bathroom of the residence where she was living. The charges allege she endangered the child by "giving birth to the child unattended and failing to secure assistance and medical attention," ultimately leading to the baby's death. Usnick is accused of placing the baby's body in a plastic bag, then placing the bag in a plastic container.
    The Boone County Medical Examiner's Officer performed an autopsy on the remains and found the infant was fully developed and viable at the time of birth. The examiner's office believed the infant could have been resuscitated following delivery. The examiner's office also noted that the infant's umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck and she had methamphetamine in her bloodstream and liver indicating that the child was alive in the hours immediately prior to delivery.
    If convicted, Usnick faces up to 30 years or life in prison.
    Usnick has been held in the Miller County jail on a $300,000 bond. She was living in Mexico, Mo., when she was arrested after being released from jail on her initial charges in 2009. She was originally scheduled to stand trial on charges of endangering the welfare of a child, possession of a controlled substance and manufacturing a controlled substance but those charges were combined with the charges of second degree murder and abandonment of a corpse. Four other persons were arrested after the drug raid in 2009.
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