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The Elmira woman accused of poisoning her two-year old Batavia stepson has beaten a murder rap.Melissa Engelhardt
Instead, 24-year-old Melissa Englehardt was found guilty of first-degree manslaughter in the death of little Andrew Cianfrini.
Chemung County Court Judge Peter Buckley handed down the verdict in the three-day non-jury trial.
Englehardt was accused of lacing Andrew’s sippy cup with windshield washer fluid.
In earlier statements, Englehardt had said she poisoned Andrew in hopes of making him sick, in order to win a custody battle.
She attempted to show the child became ill when visiting his mother, Kristen Cianfrini, in Batavia.

Englehardt was originally charged with Second Degree Murder. Her court appointed lawyer successfully argued that Melissa was not guilty of murder because there was no evidence to prove she did not care for her stepson.

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Comments

# Outraged
Friday, October 29, 2010 9:52 AM
To me this verdict is an outrage! To make an assumption (the judge) that a person with a GED isn't smart enough to know that giving her little stepson ANTIFREEZE could kill him is rediculace to say the very least. Additionally regarding the piece where it is stated that there is no evidedance that she did not care for her step son is outlandish! People who care about someone don't feed them posion and neglect to give them emergancy assistance when they are lathargic and vomiting due to their actions...they just don't. WHat is really going on here with Judge Buckley and Ms. Engelhardt cause I don't get it. Evidence showed premeditation, motive and maliace. Unreal.

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