Testimony postponed in Attleboro sect murder trial
Jan. 27, 2004
Michael P. McKinney
ReligionNewsBlog.com • Wednesday January 28, 2004
TAUNTON, Mass. — The fourth day of testimony in the murder trial of former Attleboro religious sect member Karen E. Robidoux was postponed this morning because defense lawyer Joseph F. Krowski fell sick.
And tomorrow’s court session could be iffy because of an expected snowstorm.
Superior Court Judge Elizabeth Donovan told the jury this morning she would make a decision tomorrow morning about whether to hold court or perhaps start later in the day.
Also, a half-day is planned for Thursday to accommodate a lawyer’s appointment.
As a result, a trial that looked as though it might finish Monday could go into early next week. Testimony is still expected from at least two other prosecution witnesses: Former sect member Renee Horton and a police officer.
Robidoux is on trial for a second-degree murder charged in the 1999 death of her 11-month-old son Samuel. The boy died after susbisting on a diet of only breastmilk — the result of a vision by sect member G. Michelle Mingo that said Robidoux had to begin the feeding regimen to atone for vanity in her appearance.
Because Robidoux was pregnant at the time, she could not produce enough breast milk for Samuel, according to the prosecutor and defense lawyer.
Also, as part of the sect’s vision, Robidoux was told to drink at least a gallon of almond milk, which did not provide enough nutrients — especially since she was pregnant with another child.
Robidoux’s husband, Jacques, is serving a life sentence for first-degree murder in the infant’s death.
Krowski has told reporters he has not decided either way whether to put Karen Robidoux on the stand.
The prosecution argues that Robidoux could have done something to save the child, while the defense contends she was under the control of group leaders and unable to take action.
So far, Krowski has gotten several former sect members to say that while in the sect, they did things they would not even contemplate now.
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