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Judge Seals Verdict in Trial of Baby-Sitter

A sealed jury verdict is to be opened in Van Nuys Superior Court today in the case of a woman accused of giving sick 14-month-old twins a home brew of various medicines that killed one of them and injured the other.

The defendant, Melvine Kaiserauer, 43, of North Hollywood, who was baby-sitting the two boys at the time, is facing five felony charges stemming from the Feb. 20 incident. They include a count of involuntary manslaughter.

The jury announced Wednesday afternoon that it had reached a decision, but Judge Darlene Schempp ordered the verdict sealed until this morning. If convicted of all five counts, Kaiserauer would face up to nine years in prison.

During the two-week trial, medical experts testified that Christopher Collins died of codeine and morphine poisoning and that his brother, Brandon, was hospitalized with symptoms of the same type of poisoning but recovered.

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Kaiserauer, testifying on her own behalf, denied that she knew the medicine contained narcotics, saying she thought it was only children’s Tylenol.

Her attorney, Marvin L. Part, said she gave the boys the wrong medicine in what he called a “terrible tragedy.”

But Deputy Dist. Atty. Kenneth A. Loveman, citing statements Kaiserauer made to police after paramedics rushed the boys to a hospital, contends she knew the brew contained codeine and gave it to the boys to make them sleep.


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