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August 31, 2013

Appeal denied in Cherry attempted capital murder case

GREENVILLE — A state district court has upheld a Greenville woman’s conviction on a charge of attempted capital murder, for attempting to kill her newborn daughter in 2009.

Earlier this month, the Sixth Court of Appeals had questions concerning the case and instructed the 354th District Court to a decision as to whether Lola Danielle Cherry’s statement to investigators was made voluntarily.

The trial court had since submitted its findings of fact concerning the conviction, and in a nine-page opinion issued Friday morning, Chief Justice Josh R. Morriss said the appeals court was convinced Cherry was not coerced or forced into making the statements which implicated her in the case.

“The trial court concluded, considering the totality of the circumstances, that Cherry’s oral and written statements ... were made voluntarily,” Morriss said. “The trial court also stated that Cherry was ‘less than candid with the Court’ during her testimony.

The record supports the trial court’s finding that Cherry voluntarily made her oral and written statements.  There is no abuse of discretion in the trial court’s findings, and we overrule Cherry’s point of error.” 

The Sixth Court of Appeals heard arguments in Cherry’s appeal when it met in Greenville July 30.

Cherry was convicted in January 2012 on a charge of attempted capital murder.

One month later 354th District Court Judge Richard A. Beacom sentenced Cherry to 24 years in prison.

Prosecutors alleged Cherry pushed a diaper wipe down her 12-week-old daughter’s throat because she did not want her to grow up in an unstable household.

Police officers were reported to have responded to a call of a newborn choking and not breathing in the 2600 block of Jones Street on Oct. 31, 2009.

The child was later taken by helicopter to Childrens Medical Center in Dallas where the baby wipe was removed. The child fully recovered.

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