Appeals court overturns involuntary manslaughter verdict

Court: prosecution did not have enough evidence

TUSCUMBIA, Mo. - The Missouri Western District Court of Appeals overturned a guilty verdict for a woman who was convicted of first-degree involuntary manslaughter in 2017. 

Emily Usnick was tried and found guilty after her baby was found wrapped in a trash bag, inside a container, inside the trunk of a car in 2009 in Miller County. The jury found that Usnick was responsible for the death of her daughter during an at-home, medically unattended birth. The trial was conducted in Johnson County after Usnick filed for a change of venue out of Miller County.

Usnick was sentenced to five years in the Department of Corrections. 

The appeals court overturned the guilty verdict on Tuesday because the state did not have sufficient evidence to submit the case to a jury, according to the order

The Miller County Prosecutor's Office was reviewing the decision on Tuesday and said it would "act accordingly."

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