A Massachusetts man who confessed to trying to kill his sick 7-year-old daughter by poisoning her with Liquid Plumr drain cleaner had his request for a new trial denied, court officials announced Wednesday.
Christopher Conley’s request for a new trial in the attempted murder of his daughter was denied by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, documents indicate.
Conley was indicted in 2015 on charges including attempted murder, assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon on a child, and assault and battery on a child causing substantial bodily injury.
The indictment was handed down after Conley confessed to having tried to kill his daughter, who had complex medical problems, by putting Liquid Plumr into a tube that was surgically connected to her large intestine, according to prosecutors.
In his appeal for a new trial, Conley’s legal team argued that the trial judge abused his discretion by doing the following:
Excluding the testimony of the defendant’s expert on false confessions
Admitting evidence that, in the defendant’s 2015 confession, he also acknowledged intentionally causing his daughter’s blood infections in 2009 by dipping part of her central line in stool
Excluding evidence that, shortly before the 2015 confession, the defendant told his attorney in a related care and protection case brought by the Department of Children and Families that he “didn’t do it” but was going to confess because “this is what we do for our family”
In issuing its denial of a new trial, the Commonwealth said, “We have carefully reviewed each of the defendant’s arguments and the judge’s careful resolution of them. No purpose would be served by repeating the judge’s analysis. There was no abuse of discretion. We affirm the judgments and the order denying the defendant’s motion for a new trial.”
Prosecutors said during the trial that Conley wanted to end the chronically ill girl’s pain, who had to undergo a seven-hour surgery to remove two-thirds of her small intestine and part of her bladder after the injection.
Conley may have also been abusing his daughter for years because her medical issues improved when she was in foster care, according to prosecutors.
His child survived the poisoning but is left with lasting effects.
He was sentenced to 16 to 18 years in prison following his conviction in 2020.
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