MOUNT CLEMENS (WWJ/AP) – Macomb County prosecutors have altered the charges against a woman whose three previous trials in the drowning death of her 4-year-old grandson ended without resolution.
A judge granted the request to reset the charges against 63-year-old Terry Borgia for her fourth scheduled trial on March 5.
The charges were felony murder and first-degree murder. They’re now felony murder, child abuse and involuntary manslaughter. They were approved Thursday during a hearing in Macomb County Circuit Court.
Borgia has been in jail since she was accused of drowning DeAngelo Tobia in January 2010 in a bathtub in the Clinton Township apartment she shared with her adult daughter, Tonina, who is DeAngelo’s aunt.
Borgia made incriminating statements to police, saying she “snapped,” but did not make an outright confession that she drowned the boy, The Macomb Daily reported.
Defense attorney Mark Haddad said he maintains his defense that Borgia is covering for her daughter Tonina, although prosecutors have said there’s no evidence that supports that theory.
“Until she comes clean and says something different, in my mind, she is taking the blame for something she didn’t do,” Haddad told reporters.
Assistant Prosecutor Bill Cataldo said the change in the charges is “just to make it easier and more understandable for the jury,” but Haddad predicted the amended charges would make his job “that much more difficult.”
Borgia’s first trial ended in a mistrial after police statements were found to be invalid. Her second trial ended in a hung jury after Borgia’s daughter Tonina was found to be an unfit witness after mental health issues. Her third trial ended in a mistrial after jurors indicated they were deadlocked.
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