Woman found not guilty of 4 year old's murder in Union Co. - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Woman found not guilty of 4 year old's murder in Union Co.

Sacha Brown (Source: Union County Sheriff's Office) Sacha Brown (Source: Union County Sheriff's Office)
Justin Hepburn Justin Hepburn

A Union County woman accused of killing her boyfriend's 4-year-old son in December 2011 was found not guilty in a directed verdict on Thursday.

A judge issued a directed verdict. That means the defendant's lawyer asked for a motion to dismiss the charges, arguing that the government has failed to prove its case and the judge granted that request.

Police said Sacha Brown was responsible for the skull fracture that led to Justin Hepburn's death. They say she tried to make it look like an accident by covering the Ware boy in soap and positing his body and other items to make it look accidental.

Chris Hepburn, the boy's father testified that Brown had a history of violently punishing his child and would frequently spank Justin until he bruised. Hepburn also said he and Brown used to get into both physical and verbal fights.

Brown's attorney said the charges filed against his client were a result of a rush to judgment.

Union County State's Attorney Tyler R. Edmonds released the following statement:

"My heart goes out to the family of Justin Hepburn. Justin's family has waited three years for justice and unfortunately, they did not receive that justice today. While I respect the ruling of the Court, I do not agree with the ruling. Dozens of law enforcement personnel led by the Union County Sheriff's Office and Illinois State Police worked around the clock in the hours immediately after Justin's murder and over the subsequent months. Because of their work, a strong circumstantial case was built. I applaud the efforts of law enforcement and the staff of the State's Attorney's Office and the State's Attorney's Appellate Prosecutor."

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