NASHUA, N.H. – A woman charged with beating her 3-year-old daughter to death had faced child abuse charges before: She was indicted last year on a charge of striking an 8-year-old boy with a belt, but the case was dismissed because he was too scared to testify against her, according to court papers.
Katlyn Marin made her first court appearance Monday in the death of Brielle Gage. Prosecutors say the 25-year-old Marin assaulted Brielle several times during Thanksgiving week, and she died shortly after being rushed to a hospital Nov. 25. An autopsy determined she died of blunt-force injuries.
Marin, who appeared on a video screen in district court in Nashua, did not speak at the hearing. Bail wasn't set, and she will remain behind bars pending a probable cause hearing Jan. 13.
Marin's father, Harry Gage, attended the brief hearing. He said that he stands behind Marin and that some of the information being spread about her was false. He said he didn't want to elaborate on his false-information accusation.
Several members of the Nashua Police Department also attended the arraignment.
"This case has been a long process for the Nashua Police Department; a lot of work has gone into this case so they wanted to be here from the start of this proceeding," Senior Assistant Attorney General Jeff Strelzin said.
Marin's court-appointed lawyer, Justin Hayes, declined to comment.
Marin had been accused of child abuse before. In July, a grand jury indicted her on a second-degree assault charge for striking an 8-year-old boy with a belt in January 2014. The state dismissed the case Dec. 15 because the victim was "unable to testify ... due to his fear of the defendant," according to a handwritten note on the court papers.
The relationship between Marin and the boy wasn't clear in court documents.
Assistant Hillsborough County Attorney Catherine Devine, the prosecutor on that case, couldn't immediately be reached for comment.
Strelzin said that the Department of Child, Youth and Family Services has been working with the family and that Marin's other four children are safe. A call to the agency wasn't immediately returned Monday.