Trial begins for man accused of poisoning daughter

February 5, 2020 GMT

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (AP) — The trial of a Massachusetts man accused of trying to kill his sick 7-year-old daughter by poisoning her with drain cleaner has begun.

Christopher Conley, of Northampton, pleaded not guilty in May 2015 to charges including attempted murder and assault and battery on a child. Opening statements in his trial began Tuesday, the Northampton Gazette reported.

The girl underwent a seven-hour surgery in April 2015 to remove two-thirds of her small intestine and part of her bladder. Surgeons said they suspected someone injected a corrosive fluid into her cecostomy tube. The daughter eventually recovered.

Prosecutors said Conley told investigators he used Liquid-Plumr and a prescription painkiller overdose because he wanted to end his seriously ill daughter’s pain.

But defense attorney Mark Bluver said Tuesday that Conley lied to police and that expert testimony would show that the daughter’s injuries were due to a rare but natural condition.

Prosecutors said Conley also told police that he tried to kill his daughter in 2009 by dipping her central line in her feces-filled diapers to give her an infection.

Conley’s now ex-wife, Julie Conley, has pleaded not guilty to assault and battery charges. She is expected to go on trial in early March.