Witnesses disagree on when and how baby died

An expert witness for the defense claimed skin slippage on the body of Hillary Tyler’s infant suggests the baby may have died while still in the uterus.

Tyler is on trial in Webster County District Court for first-degree murder in the death of her baby in September 2011.

Dr. Janice Ophoven said she also didn’t believe Tyler, who told a law enforcement agent that the baby cried and moved before she placed him face down in a bathtub, was a credible witness and doesn’t believe her testimony proves the baby was born alive.

However, Webster County Medical Examiner Dr. Dan Cole, who retrieved the baby from the motel room where the body was found, testified placenta was “healthy,” and he didn’t believe the baby died in utero.

Cole also said he can’t tell just by looking at the baby when it was born.

Ophoven identified an area on the baby’s right thigh as maceration, indicating skin slippage occurred while the baby was still in the mother’s womb. Associate State Medical Examiner Jon Thompson testified earlier this week that the discolored area was not the result of maceration, which Cole agreed with this morning.

Testimony will resume at 1 p.m. today.