A Roman Catholic nun was acquitted yesterday of charges that she killed her baby in her convent room shortly after giving birth.
Judge Hyman T.Mass, who presided at the 10-day nonjury trial in Monroe County Court, said Sister Maureen Murphy, 37, was innocent of first-degree manslaughter, the charge on which she was indicted.
He also acquitted her of second-degree manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide, two lesser charges.
When Maas announced the verdicts, Sister Maureen placed a hand over her face and appeared to be crying. Members of her family also wept.
Sister Maureen, who was unavailable to reporters, is still a member of the Sisters of St. Joseph, which she joined 19 years ago. Her future, however, was not immediately clear, Church officials have refused to discuss the case.
The name of the baby's father has not been made public.
The prosecution charged that last April 27 Sister Maureen gave birth to a full-term baby boy at Our Lady of Lourdes convent in suburban Brighton and asphyxiated him.
The defense contended that Sister Maureen was so emotionally disturbed about her pregnancy and the birth and so weakened by loss of blood that she could not have intentionally killed the baby.