Woman seeks child murder conviction reversal

Michelle Gauvin, left, and Aiyana Gauvin
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An Indiana woman serving a life sentence in the beating death of her four-year-old stepdaughter wants a judge to reverse her conviction in the 2005 killing.

State deputy public defender Joanna Green asked a Tippecanoe County judge Thursday to reverse Michelle D. Gauvin's convictions on the grounds that she received poor representation from court-appointed trial attorneys.

The Journal & Courier reports Green argued during Gauvin's bid for post-conviction relief that those attorneys failed to object to what she claims was irrelevant and prejudicial testimony from state witnesses.

Gauvin avoided the death penalty by pleading guilty in September 2006 to murder, criminal confinement and neglect of a dependent in stepdaughter Aiyana Gauvin's death. The Lafayette woman was sentenced to life in prison without parole.

Gauvin's husband Christian Gauvin was sentenced to 50 years in prison in connection with the girl's death.

Aiyana Gauvin died of a blow to the head in March 2005. Gauvin admitted that she tied up Aiyana, duct-taped her mouth shut, spanked her with a broken cutting board, bit her and forced her to eat ground-up food. But she blamed her husband for inflicting the head blow that killed Aiyana.

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