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Texas Mother Charged With Murder In Death Of Son In NH

PORTSMOUTH, N.H. (CBS) – A mother from Texas was formally charged with two felony counts of second-degree murder Thursday in the death of her 6-year-old son.

Prosecutors say Julianne McCrery "knowingly and recklessly" caused the death of her son Camden Pierce Hughes by asphyxiation. No other details were revealed at her arraignment in Portsmouth District Court.

WBZ-TV's Beth Germano reports

She did not enter a plea and responded "yes, ma'am" when Judge Sawako Tachibana Gardner asked her if she wanted a court-appointed attorney.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Bernice Corpuz reports from Portsmouth


It was the second time in a day McCrery appeared before a judge.

She was arraigned in Concord, Mass. District Court on a fugitive of justice charge Thursday morning. She waived rendition and was taken to New Hampshire.

WBZ-TV's Karen Anderson reports.

Earlier Thursday, McCrery's attorney said his client is suicidal and wants to "be in heaven with her son."

McCrery, 42, of Irving, Texas, was arrested in Massachusetts Wednesday night for the death of her son, Camden Pierce Hughes on May 14.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Carl Stevens reports from Concord


Hughes's body was found Saturday evening along a road in South Berwick, Maine.  A nationwide search was launched to find his identity.

Related Story: Mystery Boy Identified As Camden Pierce Hughes

Truck driver Stephen Scipione of Leominster told WBZ-TV he spotted McCrery at a rest stop off I-495 in Chelmsford Wednesday morning and called 911.  State police arrived and took her into custody at the barracks in Concord. Sources told WBZ-TV that McCrery admitted to killing her son.

Related Story: Leominster Truck Driver Spotted McCrery At Rest Stop

She was examined at Emerson Hospital and brought back to the Concord barracks, where she met with her attorney, George Murphy.

He told reporters Thursday McCrery was crying and suicidal.

"She wanted to be in heaven with her son," Murphy said.  "She kept saying it over and over again - I want to die."

Murphy said she did not admit to him she killed her boy, even though police told him she "confessed to this in detail."

Related Story: Who Is Julianne McCrery?

An autopsy performed in Maine determined her son died of asphyxiation. It was ruled a homicide.

Sources told WBZ-TV that McCrery said she gave her son an overdose of cough syrup that resulted in his death.  New Hampshire prosecutors would not confirm that in a news conference Thursday afternoon.

Police spent much of Wednesday evening searching a room at the Stone Gable Inn on Route 1 in Hampton, New Hampshire where McCrery had been staying recently.

Related Story: Texas School Mourns Camden Pierce Hughes

A school district representative from Irving, Texas told KTVT in Dallas that McCrery called her son's school in Irving Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday to say her son would not be there because he was sick.  The call on Wednesday came about an hour before police found McCrery.

She was charged late Wednesday with second-degree murder in New Hampshire.

McCrerry was ordered held without bail Thursday in Portsmouth.  She is due in Hampton District Court for a probable cause hearing on May 26.

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