Verdict in Blackstone ‘House of Horrors' Trial Could be Reached This Week

Warning: Some of the details in the story below are graphic and may be disturbing to some readers.

Closing arguments have concluded in the Blackstone, Massachusetts "House of Horrors" trial, and a judge may reach a verdict this week in the case of a mother accused of murder after three dead infants were found in her squalid home.

The defense rested its case and closing arguments were made Friday in the trial of 35-year-old Erika Murray, who was charged with second-degree murder after authorities made the unsettling discovery among the filthy conditions of her home in 2014.

Murray initially faced two second-degree murder charges for two of the three dead babies found in the house, but Judge Janet Kenton-Walker tossed one of the charges after prosecutors failed to prove one of the infants was ever alive.

Murray also faces assault and battery charges for leaving her 3-year-old and 5-month-old daughters – whom she had raised in secret – in the home alone, covered in feces.

The defense continued to argue in its closing arguments that Murray is mentally ill, while the prosecutor argued she knew what she was doing was wrong.

On Friday, child, adolescent and forensic psychiatrist Dr. Fabian Saleh said Murray presented herself well when he interviewed her October 2017 and January 2018.

"Surprisingly, there was no evidence of symptoms consistent with a major mental health issue," he said.

The home's squalid conditions were discovered by a neighbor after her son called to ask for her help in shushing a baby.

The neighbor, Betsy Brown, said her son often played with Murray's 10-year-old son. Brown's child was at the home when he called his mom, and the woman said she didn't know of any babies in the neighborhood.

At the house, she found the two girls in horrid conditions. The home was infested with maggots and other insects and was trashed with garbage, feces and urine. Feces-covered handprints could be seen on the wall and multiple dirty diapers were also in the house.

William Walsh, chairman of the Blackstone's Board of Health, testified that the conditions in the home were so bad that a company that cleans up bloody crime scenes said it was too filthy to be cleaned. The house was eventually torn down.

Massachusetts State Police Sgt. Keith Egan took the stand last week and said authorities were removing boxes from a closet when they found the babies' remains. Dr. James Pokines, a Boston University medical professor and forensic anthropologist with the state medical examiner's office, said "the remains came to us in an already mummified state."

For live updates on the trial, click here for NBC10 Boston reporter Alysha Palumbo's Twitter feed.

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