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Baby choking on wipe could have been ‘an accident:’ Defense doctor testifies at trial of NYC nanny

The wipe found by doctors lodged in the windpipe of a baby boy, who nearly died from suffocation, ‘could have gotten there accidentally,’ according to the doctor for the defense in the case of a NYC nanny charged with attempted murder.

Dr. Lorraine Ronca was testifying for the defense in the case of Marianne Benjamin-Williams in Manhattan Supreme Court in New York on Monday.

Benjamin-Williams, 46, is accused of stuffing a baby wipe down the throat of 2-month-old Maxwell Blutreich, who was in her care, on May 18, 2017, inside the Blutreich family’s Manhattan Waterside Plaza home. 

Dr. Lorraine Ronca, (pictured above) said the wipe found by doctors lodged in the windpipe of a baby boy, who nearly died from suffocation, ‘could have gotten there accidentally’

Dr. Lorraine Ronca who took to the witness stand, Monday, said the wipe may have been accidentally inhaled by baby Maxwell Blutreich (pictured above with his sister Ariella)

Dr. Lorraine Ronca who took to the witness stand, Monday, said the wipe may have been accidentally inhaled by baby Maxwell Blutreich (pictured above with his sister Ariella)

Williams was hired by a Manhattan doctor, Dr. Salomon Blutreich and his investment-banker wife, Meredith Sondler-Bazar, to care for their two children, a 14-month-old girl and their infant son. 

Benjamin-Williams is charged with attempted murder and related counts, including assault, strangulation, reckless endangerment, possession of a forged instrument and endangering the welfare of a child.

She is charged with falsifying documents, which she used to get her job.

Marianne Benjamin-Williams (pictured above) is charged with Maxwell Blutreich's attempted murder and related counts

Marianne Benjamin-Williams (pictured above) is charged with Maxwell Blutreich’s attempted murder and related counts

Dr. Lorraine Ronca, who took to the witness stand, Monday, supported the argument put forth by Benjamin-Williams’ defense team that the wipe may have been inhaled by the baby or put there with the help of his 14-month-old sister.

Ronca did acknowledge it was possible that Benjamin-Williams was responsible. ‘I believe that one of the ways (it could have happened) was from the babysitter shoving it down the baby’s throat,’ she said, as reported by The NY Daily News. 

 ‘… I also believe it could have gotten there accidentally,’ Ronca added. 

Ronca is a doctor who examines infants in the emergency room and in abuse settings.

‘It could have been inadvertently left near the baby’s mouth and sucked in,’ she said. 

Baby Blutreich was saved by surgeons who removed a ‘balled-up baby wipe’ from the child’s throat, after emergency responders found him bleeding from the mouth and  struggling for air. Doctors said the wipe was stuck so far down his throat it wasn’t visible.

Williams was hired by a Manhattan doctor, Dr. Salomon Blutreich (pictured in court) and his investment-banker wife, Meredith Sondler-Bazar

Williams was hired by a Manhattan doctor, Dr. Salomon Blutreich and his investment-banker wife, Meredith Sondler-Bazar (pictured)

Williams was hired by a Manhattan doctor, Dr. Salomon Blutreich (pictured on the left in court) and his investment-banker wife, Meredith Sondler-Bazar (pictured right)

Prosecutor Nicole Blumberg cross-examined the doctor and suggested the baby's mouth was so small there was no room for a wipe to be 'sucked' in. 'There's not a lot of space, I would agree with that,' Ronca said

Prosecutor Nicole Blumberg cross-examined the doctor and suggested the baby’s mouth was so small there was no room for a wipe to be ‘sucked’ in. ‘There’s not a lot of space, I would agree with that,’ Ronca said

In court on Monday, Ronca said a possible explanation for the substantial bleeding in Maxwell’s mouth were the ‘finger sweep’ attempts made by Benjamin-Williams and emergency responders.

Never do a blind finger sweep,’ she said. ‘You can push the object further into the baby’s mouth and you can possibly cause trauma and bleeding.’

The emergency efforts could be ‘why (the wipe) was where it was in the baby’s mouth…Anything that went in the baby’s mouth could potentially impact where that wipe ended up,’ she added. 

Two-month-old Maxwell Blutreich was found blue and barely breathing on May 18, 2017, in the Blutreich family's NYC Waterside Plaza home. He was in the care of Nanny Marianne Benjamin-Williams

Two-month-old Maxwell Blutreich was found blue and barely breathing on May 18, 2017, in the Blutreich family’s NYC Waterside Plaza home. He was in the care of Nanny Marianne Benjamin-Williams

Prosecutor Nicole Blumberg cross-examined the doctor and suggested the baby’s mouth was so small there was no room for a wipe to be ‘sucked’ in because his tongue would block entry to a foreign object.

‘Is it fair to say there’s very little space left for an object to be in that baby’s mouth?’ Blumberg asked.

‘There’s not a lot of space, I would agree with that,’ Ronca said.     

Prosecutors have argued that Benjamin-Williams was a disgruntled employee who had complained about her salary and the baby’s crying and fussiness, prior to the incident.

Baby Maxwell also had a fractured arm at the time. Prosecutors argue it was a sign he was abused by Benjamin-Williams.    

Benjamin-Williams has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Baby Maxwell also had a fractured arm at the time. Prosecutors argue it was a sign he was abused by Benjamin-Williams. Benjamin-Williams has pleaded not guilty to the charges

Baby Maxwell also had a fractured arm at the time. Prosecutors argue it was a sign he was abused by Benjamin-Williams. Benjamin-Williams has pleaded not guilty to the charges

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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