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Mother Pleads Not Guilty in Son's Death

May 01, 2003|Lance Pugmire | From a Times Staff Writer

Amy Leanne Prien of Mead Valley, accused of killing her infant son with methamphetamine-laced breast milk, pleaded not guilty Wednesday and waived her right to a preliminary hearing in hopes of accelerating the start of her murder trial.

Prien was re-arraigned on a second-degree murder charge two days after a Riverside County judge dismissed the case, citing delays by prosecutors. Deputy Dist. Atty. Allison Nelson refiled the charge.

Defense attorney Stephen Yagman repeated his allegation that the prosecution was violating his client's rights by delaying the trial with "petty procedural tactics." Nelson said Yagman's allegation was groundless. Prien's trial is expected to begin in July, she said.

After granting two previous continuances requested by prosecutors, Superior Court Judge Paul E. Zellerbach on Monday dismissed the original charges after Nelson requested a 30-day stay to better prepare for a new defense witness.

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