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Judge: No new trial for convicted baby killer

PamelJacobazzi / phofrom Illinois Dept. Corrections

Pamela Jacobazzi / photo from Illinois Dept. of Corrections

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A northwest suburban woman sentenced to 32 years in prison for the fatal shaking of a baby in 1995 will not be getting out of prison early after a judge denied a new trial.

Judge Robert Kleeman on Friday denied a new trial for convicted murderer Pamela Jacobazzi of Bartlett, according to a statement from DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin.

Pamela Jacobazzi, now 58, was convicted of murder in 1999 for the death of Matthew Czapski, whom Jacobazzi had cared for at her home day care center in Bartlett, the Sun-Times reported at the time.

The boy suffered severe head injuries in August 1994 while in Jacobazzi’s care and remained in a vegetative coma until he died in December 1995, authorities said at her trial.

Jacobazzi, who had baby-sat the boy for only nine days before he was injured, will remain behind bars at the Logan Correctional Center following the judge’s ruling.

Jacobazzi, who has long proclaimed her innocence, sought the appeal claiming the jury should have been told about pre-existing conditions that could have caused the baby’s death, and also cited the scientific debate over shaken baby syndrome.

That was enough for an appellate court to grant her request for a review, but not enough for the judge to grant a new trial.

“My office has maintained all along that Pamela Jacobazzi alone is responsible for the death of Matthew Czapski,” Berlin said in the statement.

“Fourteen years ago, after a fair trial where Pamela Jacobazzi was represented by counsel of her choice, my office proved, and a jury agreed that Matthew’s death was the result of shaken baby syndrome. We also proved, and the jury agreed, that it was Ms. Jacobazzi who killed Matthew.”

Jacobazzi will be eligible for parole in May 2015. The University of Illinois’ Innocence Project, which helped prepare the appeal, continues to call on Gov. Quinn to grant clemency.

Berlin does not see it that way.

“The facts and circumstances of the case haven’t changed in the last fourteen years. Pamela Jacobazzi killed Matthew Czapski. I would like to thank Judge Kleeman for following the law and basing his ruling on the evidence and testimony presented in court,” the state’s attorney said the statement.

“It is my sincerest hope that today’s ruling will put an end to any speculation as to the cause of death of Matthew Czapski and that with this ruling, Matthew’s family will be finally able to gain some closure in this horrible chapter in their lives,” Berlin said in the statement.

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