A Superior Court judge Friday ordered a Dayville woman, charged with murder in the beating death of her 20-month-old son, held on $1 million bond and placed under a suicide watch.
Melissa O’Connor, 23, of 826E Hartford Pike, was arrested Thursday night at Day Kimball Hospital in Putnam, where she was taken for evaluation and treatment after an undisclosed incident claimed the life of her son, Bryce O’Connor.
Details of the child’s death are not yet available, but an autopsy by the state Office of the Chief Medical Examiner Friday ruled it a homicide caused by blunt force head trauma.
O’Connor, dressed in red sweatpants and sweatshirt with shackles at her ankles and wrists, made a brief appearance Friday in Danielson Superior Court. She stood before Judge Antonio Robaina and answered “yes,” when asked if she understood her rights.
O’Connor is charged with murder, risk of injury to a minor, first-degree assault and first-degree strangulation.
Prosecutor: Strong case
State prosecutor Matthew Crockett recommended the $1 million bond based on “the nature and circumstances” of the crime and what he said was a strong case against O’Connor.
Windham County State’s Attorney Patricia Froehlich said O’Connor also is considered a risk to the community, specifically to children. The case was continued to June 10 and O’Connor will have the right to a probable cause
hearing — an opportunity to present a defense and for state prosecutors to reveal evidence. O’Connor is represented by a public defender.
A bail commissioner said O’Connor has no criminal history and originally is from New Hampshire. O’Connor is collecting Social Security benefits for mental health-related issues.
Police reports associated with the case remained sealed under court order because of an ongoing investigation and the fact a child was involved, Froehlich said.
“The next step is to determine additional charges, if necessary,” Froehlich said.