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TRUMBULL COUNTY Lawyers seek OK for expert



Published: Wed, April 10, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



The defendant says she's getting annoyed by the national press.

By PEGGY SINKOVICH

VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF

WARREN -- Attorneys representing a Niles woman accused of killing her children 30 years ago are searching for a pediatric forensic pathologist.

Attys. James Lewis and Anthony Consoldane of the Ohio Public Defender's Commission told the judge Tuesday they need an expert to look over the evidence.

Gloria Greenfield, 52, of Robbins Avenue, is charged with three counts of first-degree murder.

She is accused of killing her three infant children, Melissa in 1969, Theodore II in 1970 and Regina Woods in 1971.

The deaths were attributed to sudden infant death syndrome.

Greenfield has pleaded innocent.

What this is about: The defense attorneys had to ask the court for approval to hire an expert because the court will have to pay the bill, court officials said.

"What we are going to do is send the information to a few experts and ask their opinions," Consoldane said.

Dr. Janice Ophoven, a pediatric forensic pathologist from Minnesota, will testify for the prosecution.

Prosecutors say she is one of a few experts in pediatric forensic pathology.

Ophoven was involved in a 1990s investigation of Waneta Hoyt, who was convicted in New York of killing her five children.

SIDS had been ruled the causes of the deaths of those children as well.

The Trumbull County coroner's office changed the causes of death in the local case: Regina and Theodore's are now being attributed to asphyxia and Melissa's is listed as undetermined.

All three have been ruled homicides.

Assault counts: Greenfield also is charged with two counts of assault with intent to kill, accused of trying to kill another daughter, Gloria Bennight, when Bennight was 44 days old and again when she was 80 days old.

An assistant producer with "Dateline NBC" attended Tuesday's hearing and Consoldane said he has also been contacted by Associated Press reporters and CNN.

"I don't mind the local media, but I am really getting annoyed by the national media," Greenfield said.

"The local media sticks to the story. The national media covers the story one day and then they are gone."

Greenfield also stressed she is innocent, saying, "I did not do anything to hurt my children."

sinkovich@vindy.com




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