Sharing the blame with others isn't enough to save a woman from being convicted of murder in the death of her 3-year-old foster son, who was bound in a blanket and packing tape and left in a closet, prosecutors told jurors Wednesday.
All it would take to convict Liz Carroll would be determining that she committed a felony that resulted in the death of Marcus Fiesel, prosecutors said in closing arguments.
Guilt could be measured by "not only what she did, but what she failed to do," Assistant Hamilton County Prosecutor Mark Piepmeir said.
He discounted the defense contention that Carroll was intimidated into going along with her bully husband, David Carroll Jr., 29, and their live-in companion, Amy Baker.
"Even though she tried to share the blame with David and Amy Baker, what she admitted was sufficient to find her guilty of these crimes," Piepmeir said.
Carroll, 30, also is charged with involuntary manslaughter, kidnapping, felonious assault and three counts of child endangerment.
Marcus, who was developmentally disabled, died in August at the family's home in Batavia, east of Cincinnati, while Carroll was gone overnight at a family reunion in Kentucky.
Defense attorney Gregory Cohen said Carroll was a "beaten-down woman trying to save her family and protect David."
She was terrorized by her husband's violent tendencies and by Baker's sexual conquest of her husband, he said in his closing.
"Two people had responsibility to protect Marcus Fiesel," Cohen said. "David Carroll has a court date just down the hall."
David Carroll also is charged with murder and is to be tried separately next month.
Baker has not been charged, but testified Monday that she accompanied David Carroll when he allegedly burned the body and dumped the remains in the Ohio River. Prosecutors agreed not to prosecute Baker in exchange for her testimony, unless any evidence shows she had hands-on involvement in the boy's death.