Mom accused of killing tot has functioning of eight-year-old, court hears

Twenty-three-year-old Roseanne Whalen appeared in court on Saturday. Picture is a photo of Whalen...

Twenty-three-year-old Roseanne Whalen appeared in court on Saturday. Picture is a photo of Whalen from a Facebook page. (Niagara Falls Review)

Karena Walter, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:28 AM ET

HAMILTON, Ont. — A psychologist testified a Fort Erie, Ont., woman accused of killing her toddler is low-functioning, highly gullible and a low risk for committing a future crime.

But the Crown hammered defence expert Dr. Giorgio Ilacqua Wednesday for not having watched or read transcripts of police interviews with Roseanne Whalen before writing a report that found she has the intelligence of an eight-year-old.

"We've sat through hours and hours of interviews where she played cat and mouse with the police. And if you'd bothered to watch those interviews, you'd have seen it too," assistant Crown attorney Timothy Hill fired in cross-examination the Hamilton, Ont., courthouse.

Whalen, 25, has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder in the death of her daughter Marissa, 2.

The jury has heard Whalen's girlfriend, Rainbow Hill, delivered a fatal injury to Marissa in the bathroom of the apartment they shared in Fort Erie on July 29, 2011.

Whalen, Rainbow Hill and her sister Amanda Dipota buried the child in a remote area of Six Nations territory in Ohsweken, near Brantford, that night, court heard.

Hill and Dipota are serving time for their roles in the case.

Ilacqua testified Whalen may have been exposed to alcohol while in the womb, and had early academic problems and poor vocational history.

He said results of the testing found she was highly gullible and didn't have the capacity to set goals.

He said she has an academic functioning of a Grade 3 or 4 student, or the age equivalent of an eight-year-old.


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