Hearings begin in Melissa Calusinski's effort to get new trial

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Thursday, August 18, 2016
Melissa Calunsinki in court.

WAUKEGAN, Ill. (WLS) -- Thursday was the first of three hearings that could ultimately determine whether Melissa Calusinski could be cleared for killing a toddler.

The former day care worker and her lawyers were back in court Thursday for hearings on her request for a new trial.

Calusinski is serving a 31-year sentence. She was found guilty of throwing 16-month-old Ben Kingan to the floor.

Her lawyers are trying to get the conviction thrown out. They claim evidence discovered since her trial indicates the child died from pre-existing head injuries.

Calusinski's father agrees.

"Now you are hearing the true testimony on what really happened to Benjamin Kingan that he indeed did die of an old injury that it was not my daughter that injured this child or murdered this child," said Paul Calusinski.

Prosecutors have said there's no new evidence that should change the outcome of Calusinski's 2011 trial.