Father Says He Killed Infant 39 Years Ago
In a bizarre murder case, a Maine man says he killed a child 39 years ago that was believed to have died of SIDS.
Burton Hagar's four-month-old child died in 1979 and the cause of death was ruled as Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, which is when a seemingly healthy baby suddenly stops breathing while sleeping. But, for many years after Nathan's death, Burton told people that he had smothered the baby with a pillow. He said he was jealous of the attention his wife was paying to the child and wasn't ready for the restrictions involved with having a baby. Finally, a grand jury indicted Hagar on a charge of murder, nearly 40 years after the child's death.
Newscenter Maine reports Hagar was in a courtroom yesterday, as attorneys argued a legal term called Corpus Delecti, which refers to whether a person can be convicted of a crime when there is no evidence beyond their own confession, because it's impossible to prove whether or not a crime has even been committed. It's why the case has never been pursued, even though Hagar confessed to police in 1991.
Hagar's attorney is asking that the murder charge be thrown out, because there is no evidence he killed the infant. The judge requested that attorneys on both sides submit written briefs before he rules.