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Case moves forward against Oneida County woman accused in stepson's deathSubmitted: 06/23/2017

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RHINELANDER - For the first time on Friday people heard the voice of the woman accused of killing her 1-year-old step-son in Rhinelander.

Avery Edwards died from blunt force trauma earlier this year.

Most preliminary hearings get waived, or you hear from one witness. But on Friday, the court heard from a responding officer, a medical expert, and Ellen Tran herself.

Tran claimed she was trying to protect Edwards. 
 
Prosecutors played recordings from Tran's 9-1-1 call.

"Something's wrong with my stepson, I just got him out of the bath and he's not acting right," said Tran in the call. 

Edwards died soon after that call. 

Oneida County District Attorney Michael Schiek argued. 

Tran changed her story and never mentioned Edwards fell when she first called 9-1-1.

 Schiek played tapes of investigator interviews with Tran.


 "I feel really responsible for this," said Tran in one of the interviews.

Medical examiner Dr. Doug Kelley performed the autopsy on Edwards. He testified the boy had several head injuries that a fall in the shower couldn't cause. 

Tran's attorney got Kelley to admit he couldn't point to a specific cause of death. 

"Are you able to say specifically what caused the blunt force trauma?" said Tran's defense attorney Amy Scholz. 

"I am not able to say specifically what caused the blunt force trauma," said Kelley.

Tran's defense attorney asked Judge Patrick O' Melia to dismiss the case, saying there wasn't enough evidence. 

"There has been zero testimony offered to indicate what conduct Ms. Tran engaged in that resulted in the death of Avery Edwards," said Schulz. 
 
O'Melia didn't agree. He said Tran knew the risks of putting the child in a shower.

"Within 30 minutes or so he's healthy, sitting on dad's lap, to non-responsive, on the floor in the bedroom," said O' Melia. 

Judge O'Melia decided there was enough evidence to show Tran could have committed the crime.

She's due back in court to enter a plea in August.




Story By: Phylicia Ashley

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