Babysitter pleads not guilty to homicide charge

FRESNO — More than a year after an infant girl died of blunt force trauma to the head, her former babysitter told a Fresno superior court judge she wasn’t guilty of the child’s death.

Megan Martzen, 19, of Reedley pleaded not guilty last week to murder charges in the death of 17-month-old Ella Vanleeuwen, also of Reedley.

Ella suffered from head injuries while in Martzen’s care on Feb. 21, 2009, and died three days later.

Reedley police detectives worked carefully on the case for the past year, according to the department. The lengthy investigation required a lot of forensic evaluation. The detectives looked thoroughly at all of the evidence before ultimately submitting the case to the district attorney for review.

“Our detectives have been working diligently to bring this tragedy to justice,” said Chief Steve Wright. “This has been a difficult case because of the length of time it has taken to gather all of the facts needed.”

Martzen was arrested in Reedley without incident on April 27 after the Fresno County District Attorney’s Office filed charges against her. She was booked into the Fresno County Jail on charges of murder and assault on a child resulting in death, according to the Reedley Police Department.

Court documents revealed that Ella died of “non-accidental blunt-force trauma.”

During her first court appearance on April 29 in Fresno Superior Court, Martzen entered a not-guilty plea to both charges.

Martzen’s bail is set at $2 million.

Babysitter pleads not guilty to homicide charge was last modified: July 9th, 2012 by admin
Categories: Fresno

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