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Mamaroneck mom accused of killing son, 4, wants evidence hearing

Manuela Maria Morgado, 46, is accused of killing

Manuela Maria Morgado, 46, is accused of killing her 4-year-old son in what police believe was a murder-attempted suicide at Morgado's Mamaroneck apartment. (Oct. 1, 2012) Photo Credit: Elizabeth Daza and Village of Mamaroneck Police

A lawyer for Manuela Morgado, the mother accused of suffocating her 4-year-old son at her condo in Mamaroneck, has asked for a hearing in which prosecutors will be required to present their evidence against her.

At a brief hearing Thursday morning in Village of Mamaroneck Court, a judge set next Wednesday as the day for the felony hearing.

Morgado, 46, was not in court for Thursday's hearing. Her court-appointed lawyer, Gary Kropkowski of the Legal Aid Society, said she would not appear at the next court date.

"The defendant has asked for a felony hearing," said Westchester County Assistant District Attorney Christine Hatfield. Such hearings are common.

If a judge determines there is enough evidence to hold Morgado on the murder charge, the case will likely proceed to the grand jury.

Morgado has been charged with second-degree murder in the death of her only son, Jason.

Police say they arrived at Morgado's home at 1035 E. Boston Post Rd. on Sept. 1 and found Jason already dead in a bedroom in the condominium and the mother in a "semiconscious" state.

Morgado was involved in a long-running custody battle with Jason's father, Dr. Timothy Reish of Briarcliff Manor. It's believed that Morgado attempted to use helium to suffocate the boy sometime Sunday night or Monday morning, before trying to kill herself with a drug overdose, law enforcement sources have said.

An official determination as to Jason's cause of death could take up to six weeks, as police await the results of toxicology tests.

A funeral service for the boy was held Friday in Briarcliff Manor.

Morgado is being held without bail at the Westchester County Jail in Valhalla.

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