Northern Idaho judge orders toddler's medical history released in first-degree murder case

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LEWISTON, Idaho — A northern Idaho judge has ordered prosecutors to turn over a 2-year-old girl's medical records to the attorney defending a baby sitter charged with killing the child.

The Lewiston Tribune reports (http://bit.ly/1BlTloJ) that 2nd District Court Judge Jeff M. Brudie on Tuesday granted the request made by Natasha Hodges' lawyer.

"There is substantial need in preparation of the defendant's case," Brudie wrote in his order.

Prosecutors have charged Hodges, 30, with first-degree murder in the 2012 death of Rylee Mingo.

Authorities allege Hodges struck the toddler in the abdomen, causing internal bleeding and death. Hodges called 911 when the child started having trouble breathing, but Rylee died a short time later at a local hospital.

Defense attorney Richard Cuddihy said Rylee died of natural causes from pancreatitis, an inflammation of the pancreas.

Brudie granted Cuddihy's request for all medical records pertaining to Rylee since birth, as well as child protective records and court proceedings for the girl and her sister.

Brudie also ordered the Nez Perce County prosecutors to turn over all information they received from the Spokane Medical Examiner's Office after Rylee's death.

Brudie denied Cuddihy's request for medical records about the toddler's sister. He also denied a request for medical records, a death certificate and personnel records of one of the attending physicians at in the hospital at the time of Rylee's death.

Deputy Prosecutor April Smith previously argued the requested records weren't relevant to the trial, and called the request a fishing expedition.

Hodges pleaded not guilty and has been out of custody on $50,000 bond. Her trial is set to begin April 6.


Information from: Lewiston Tribune, http://www.lmtribune.com

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