Jury discharged for the day in baby manslaughter trial

By Jill Nicholas -
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The trial has been put off today as judge hears arguments from crown and defence.  Photo/File
The trial has been put off today as judge hears arguments from crown and defence. Photo/File

An eastern Bay of Plenty woman charged with the manslaughter of her eight-month- old grandson will appear in the High Court at Rotorua tomorrow after a jury was selected today.

A jury of five men and seven women were selected. Justice Graham Lang discharged it until tomorrow to allow him to hear arguments from crown and defence lawyers.

Donna Catherine Parangi, 48, has pleaded not guilty to the manslaughter of Isaiah Neil at Ruatoki in November 2015 by not taking reasonable steps to protect him from harm.

Justice Lange told jurors the infant's parents Lucy Te Whetu and Shane Christopher Neil had already pleaded guilty to his manslaughter but have yet to be sentenced. The crown's claim against them is that they left the child alone in a car with sun beating down on it for several hours.

Parangi is the child's maternal grandmother.

The crown has indicated it will be calling 39 witnesses during the trial which is set down for two weeks, although the judge said it may be completed earlier.

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