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MOTHER WANTS MUZZLE ON EARLIER ALLEGATIONS

Defense attorneys for a woman accused of killing her 3-year-old daughter said Tuesday they will file a motion to suppress allegations that the mother had previously abused another child.

Prosecutors are seeking permission to use allegations of prior child abuse as evidence in the murder trial of 23-year-old Shelly Flemal.Flemal is accused of killing Courtney Jo Flemal and stuffing her body under a bush just west of the Ogden City Cemetery last June. Flemal has pleaded not guilty to murder, a first-degree felony.

At a hearing Tuesday before 2nd District Judge W. Brent West, defense attorneys said they did not want a jury to hear about previous allegations of child abuse involving her son.

Neither side argued their motions as West set a May 10 hearing on the requests.

Defense attorney Bernie Allen has said he believes prosecutors want to present evidence about Flemal's son to bolster a case that depends on circumstantial evidence.

By law, evidence has to relate to the specific case at trial, he said, but under special circumstances, prior related behavior or convictions can be introduced at trial.

Flemal never admitted to abusing the child nor was she charged with abuse, he said.

The state family services department investigated several complaints about Flemal's treatment of her daughter, Courtney Jo, but did not find any reason to remove her, Allen said.

In another move, prosecutors said they would file a motion to discover what Flemal's attorneys know about the alleged slaying. An April 20 hearing has been set on the prosecution's request.

In setting hearing dates, West urged the attorneys not to delay the May 22 trial date.