Mother accused in boy's death makes court appearance - New York News

Mother accused in boy's death makes court appearance

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MAMARONECK, NY (AP) -

A judge issued orders of protection Thursday against a Mamaroneck woman accused of killing her 4-year-old son, who was the subject of a custody dispute.

The boy's father and his wife "have received threatening letters and they will be witnesses in this case," Assistant District Attorney Christine Hatfield said.

She did not specify who made the threats. However, defendant Manuela Maria Morgado is now prohibited from calling, texting or using any other method, including social media, to contact the couple.

The little boy's parents were never married and lived apart.

Morgado was freed from handcuffs so she could sign the orders of protection; her shoulders shook as she appeared to sob at the end of the hearing. Village Judge Christie Derrico reserved decision on the jail's request for a mental health evaluation.

Morgado was arrested Monday and charged with second-degree murder after police found her with the body of her son, Jason Reish, in their condo. No cause of death has been established, but police are considering the possibility he was suffocated.

A wake for Reish was scheduled for Thursday in Briarcliff Manor. A funeral is set for Friday.

Morgado is now represented by a public defender, Harvey Loeb, who requested an adjournment until next week. Her former attorney, Max DiFabio, said he had learned of an unspecified conflict.

The boy's father, Dr. Timothy Reish, issued a statement Wednesday through his lawyers saying: "The events which led to the untimely death of our beloved Jake are both incomprehensible and unimaginable. We will never be able to comprehend the heinous actions of Jake's mother."

The parents had a "50-50" custody arrangement but had recently gone to court in a dispute over where he should attend preschool, said Morgado's lawyer in the matter, Dennis Light.

Light said Morgado, 46, was frustrated when a judge ruled that Jason should stay at a school in Briarcliff Manor, near his father's home, rather than switch to one in Mamaroneck that she favored.

"But there was nothing that would make you think something like this would happen," the lawyer said. He said he had met Jason once and the boy was "very bubbly, full of life and energy, just a normal 4-year-old."

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