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Forum News Service, Published March 05 2013

Attorney dismissed in Dickinson child death case

DICKINSON, N.D. - A motion was granted Monday to dismiss an attorney from representing one of the parents charged with abuse in the death of their child in Dickinson.

Kevin McCabe, who represents Andrue Saunders, made the motion to dismiss Thomas F. Murtha IV because he said his client spoke to Thomas Murtha Sr. about the facts in the case prior to being charged with Class C felony abuse or neglect of a child.

Saunders, 23, and his ex-wife, Theresa Saunders, 23, both are charged, but have adverse views in the case involving the 2011 death of their child.

Thomas F. Murtha IV with the Murtha Law Office was later hired by Theresa Saunders, who is the other defendant in the child abuse case.

Southwest District Court Judge Zane Anderson granted the motion to dismiss Thomas F. Murtha IV, saying she wanted to make sure the case could move forward without problems.

The criminal complaint states the defendants consumed illegal drugs while the infant was in their Dickinson home. The child, less than a year old, died Oct. 5, 2011.

An autopsy found traces of cocaine and methamphetamine in the child’s body, the complaint said.