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Thursday
May192011

Texas Mom Charged in Death of Son, 6, Found in Maine

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(PORTSMOUTH, N.H.) -- In a blue jumpsuit and shackles, 42-year-old Julianne McCrery appeared in Portsmouth, N.H. District Court on Thursday to face charges in the death of her son, six-year-old Camden Hughes. The boy's body was found dumped on a dirt road in rural Maine a week ago.

McCrery kept her head down, blinking back tears as the prosecutor read charges that included "knowingly causing the death of Camden Hughes by asphyxiation" and "causing a death with extreme indifference to human life."

The judge asked if McCrery wanted to have an attorney appointed by the state, and she replied "Yes, ma'am." As she was being led away, flanked by two New Hampshire state troopers, the Texas mother broke down sobbing. McCrery will be held without bail until a probable cause hearing on May 26.

Earlier in the day, McCrery appeared in a Massachusetts courtroom on fugitive from justice charges. She pled not guilty. Her court-appointed attorney in Massachusetts, George Murphy, told reporters that his client "loves her son and wanted to be with him in heaven." Murphy said he believes his client is suicidal and has said she wants to die.

When the body of the young boy was found clothed and abandoned on a rural road in Maine on May 14, the discovery puzzled investigators. Nobody filed a missing persons report for the boy and a scan of missing persons databases turned up no leads.

Days after the body was discovered, an eyewitness came forward and reported seeing a truck driven by a woman with a license plate that carried a Navy insignia in the area shortly before the body was discovered. It was the first real lead law enforcement had in the case. On Wednesday, a truck fitting that description was spotted at a Chelmsford, Mass., rest stop and McCrery was taken into custody.

McCrery is from Texas. An online listing for McCrery shows she self-published a book about how to fall asleep called Good Night, Sleep Tight. In her author's bio she described herself as a former school bus driver and cement mixer.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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