Lawyer in infanticide case accuses Catholic judge of bias over his religion [CNA]

Detroit, Mich., Mar 5, 2010 / 03:10 am (CNA).- An attorney in Michigan defending a woman charged with smothering her newborn daughter to death has claimed that a judge’s Catholic religion and affiliation with Ave Maria Law School will color his judgment. The lawyer argued the judge’s work at the school was equivalent to attending a Ku Klux Klan meeting while trying a black man.

In October 2008 the body of a newborn girl was found in a plastic bag beside the bed of Emily Portellos. Now aged 29, she is accused of smothering her newborn and is on trial for first degree murder.

Her lawyer, Henry Scharg, has claimed his client has learning disabilities and did not know she was pregnant until she gave birth in her bedroom in an unassisted breech delivery. According to the Detroit Free Press, Portellos said the delivery was not painful and that she went to sleep afterwards.

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