Thursday, June 10, 2010
Preliminary hearing begins for woman charged with baby's kidnapping, attempted murder
WINNIPEG - A Manitoba judge has started hearing evidence against a Winnipeg woman charged with abducting and trying to kill a 14-month-old baby.
Nikita Solange Eaglestick, 20, has pleaded not guilty to several offences -- including attempted murder -- stemming from the September 2009 attack that made headlines across the country. Her two-day preliminary hearing began Thursday with provincial court Judge Theodore Lismer imposing a publication ban on specific details of the proceedings.
Lismer will have to determine if there is sufficient evidence to order Eaglestick to stand trial.
Eaglestick has been accused of grabbing the infant from a residence in the 100 block of Gilbert Avenue, then beating the girl’s head on a sidewalk until a bystander - hailed a hero by family members - intervened.
Vanessa Houle was initially rushed to hospital in critical condition but has made a full recovery. Eaglestick had no connection to the baby but had apparently been inside the home of the child’s mother drinking alcohol before the attack occurred. At the time, police said they didn’t know the motive for the incident.
Eaglestick has been in custody since her arrest. The Free Press previously revealed she was out on bail at the time of the incident after the Crown consented to her release days earlier, despite the fact she was facing a total of 14 criminal charges including nine alleged breaches of previous court orders stemming from the preceding two months.
None of the allegations have been proven and she is presumed innocent.