Bridgeton, NJ, a woman is on trial for the murder of her young son in 2019

BRIDGETON – A woman accused of killing her baby boy and telling police he was kidnapped before his remains were found buried in the yard of her New Jersey home has rejected a plea offer and will be judged.

Nakira Griner, 27, of Bridgeton, initially told police in February 2019 that she was assaulted on the street and 23-month-old Daniel Griner Jr. had been abducted, authorities said.

An intensive search began, but the child’s burnt remains were found the next day in the courtyard of his house, authorities said. An autopsy concluded that the child had been beaten to death and had multiple bone fractures.

Griner appeared in court on Friday for a pre-trial conference in which the allegations were summarized and the prosecution detailed a plea offer with a recommendation of a 30-year prison sentence in exchange for a plea of guilt on the murder charge.

Appearing on video from prison, Griner declined the plea offer in favor of a trial, NJ.com reported.

After claiming a kidnapping, Griner later told police the child accidentally fell down a staircase in the family home, authorities said.

Prosecutors allege she said on phone calls from prison – which must be presented at trial – that she “did what she did to him” to cover up the bruises on her body.

Defense lawyer Jill Cohen said in an earlier court file that her client did not deny destroying the child’s remains but did not “knowingly and willfully” cause her death. These claims were made in a motion, later withdrawn, seeking to try the murder charge separately from the other counts.

Last year, a judge banned prosecutors from using Griner’s prior statements to police, saying she didn’t read her rights.

Her lawyer at the time argued that she was considered a suspect from the start and that she was also “going through a crisis and an obvious mental breakdown” and that she was not in a position to voluntarily relinquish her claims. rights.

Griner is charged with murder, tampering with evidence, endangering children, disturbing human remains and false public alarm.

The judge has set a date for the trial for January 10.

(Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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