Sep 14, 2016

"It is difficult to comprehend why a mother would do this"

A preliminary hearing was held this morning for Ewa Misztal, the 28 year old woman charged with alleged assault on a child causing death.

Misztal was held to answer on the charge.

Arraignment on information is on September 27.

Detective Sgt. Todd Dokweiler and another APD officer testified for the People. Deputy District Attorney Stacey Eads is prosecuting the case. Public Defender Mr. Casey Russo is representing Misztal.

"It is difficult to comprehend why a mother would do this", DDA Stacey Eads said in her closing remarks before Judge Feeney made his decision.

Mr. Russo argued that there was insufficient evidence to hold his client to intentional assault; he also brought up a pre existing condition.

In her response, Ms. Eads said, "These are not accidental bumps." She said that the evidence presented in the preliminary hearing and the photos showed that the injuries to the 7 week child were due to substantial force. The blows to the head were not trauma caused by falling on a hard surface, said Ms. Eads.

Aug 31, 2016

Ewa Misztal to be arraigned today for alleged assault on a child causing death; will Judge keep bail at half a million?

Arraignment at 1:30 today for Misztal in Courtroom 4. The complaint states Jane Doe's birth as 7/6/2016.

Public Defender's office was appointed; Ms. Kelly Neel was in court today for arraignment. Misztal was crying as she spoke with Ms. Neel.

Count 1 Felony PC 273ab Assault on a child causing death. Deputy District Attorney Brie Bennett is prosecuting the case.

Bail was raised to one million. This is not a crime listed on the bail schedule; in this case, the bail is then set based on time of commitment.

If convicted, the sentence for this charge is 25 years to life.

Intervention is on September 6. Preliminary hearing is on September 14.

Ewa Misztal, a 28yr old woman, was arrested on August 27 for  alleged felony child abuse PC 273a (a)  in Arcata. The bail was 50k; it was enhanced to half a million because the child died..

She is still in custody. Four days in jail.

Today, I spoke with the Arcata Police Department to verify that Misztal had been told by police that the child died of a fractured skull and that she told law enforcement she had no idea how it happened.

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