Mother accused of murdering her newborn pleads not guilty

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Guam – A Grand jury indictment has been handed down against the woman accused of causing the death of her newborn baby and today an emotional Melissa Fuppul answered to the charges.

Melissa Iosimichy Fuppul told authorities that she hid her pregnancy from her family and her boyfriend. Court documents state that her boyfriend did not find out about the baby until after Fuppul had given birth and allegedly discarded the newborn in a bathroom sink before placing “Baby girl Fuppul” in a plastic bag.

Upon her initial arrest she was charged with Manslaughter and Child abuse, but after an autopsy revealed that the baby was born alive and died as a result of asphyxiation, the charges were upgraded through a superseding indictment to include murder and family violence.

For the murder charge the indictment states that Fuppul recklessly caused the death of Baby Girl Fuppul with extreme indifference to the value of human life.

She is also charged with Family violence in that she recklessly caused and attempted to cause bodily injury to the newborn.

In court Fuppul nodded her head acknowledging her understanding of the charges and maintained her innocence.

A motion for her release will be heard tomorrow despite her attorney Curtis Van De Veld arguing that she did not have counsel when bail was set and the bail amount was only established to hold her in custody.

Van de Veld has also filed a motion to declare Fuppul an indigent, which would mean that the court would pay for her attorney fees.

The criminal trial setting is set for July 16.

SOURCEJolene Toves
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Jolene Toves
Jolene joined the PNC team in 2017, as a producer, co-anchor and investigative reporter covering law enforcement, courts and crimes. Notable coverage includes the Ehlert case, the Mark Torre Jr. trial, the Allan Agababa trial, exclusive pieces on the Life of a Drug Dealer/Addict, and Life behind bars...the story of Honofre Chargualaf and Kevin Cruz. In 2019, she was promoted to Assistant News Director and Lead Anchor. From 2015 to 2017 she served as Public Relations and Promotions Manager, for the Hotel Nikko Guam handling local radio and advertorial promotions, as well as produced and directed tv commercials for the hotel. Prior to this she worked with KUAM for three years as a reporter and segment host. She began her journalism career in 2012, working with Glimpses of Guam contributing to the Guam Business Magazine, R&R magazine, MDM magazine and the Marianas Business Journal.