By Chris McKinnon, WBZ-TV

UXBRIDGE (CBS) – New details about the horrifying conditions inside a Blackstone home where three infants were found dead earlier this year came out in court Tuesday morning.

Erika Murray, 31, the mother who was living in the house with her four children, had a pretrial hearing in Uxbridge District Court. She did not appear in front of the judge, who set her bail at $1 million. She’s charged with fetal death concealment, witness intimidation and permitting substantial injury to a child.

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Erika Murray in Uxbridge District Court , Sept. 12, 2014. (WBZ-TV)

Erika Murray in Uxbridge District Court , Sept. 12, 2014. (WBZ-TV)

During the hearing, Assistant District Attorney John Bradley presented the Commonwealth’s evidence against Murray, telling the court graphic details about the inside of the condemned home. A neighbor was the first to report the conditions.

“The smell of human and animal feces was overwhelming. There was trash throughout the home,” Bradley said.

Inside her Blackstone house, prosecutors say she and her children lived in filth. Her two youngest, a 3-year-old and a 5-month-old, were developmentally delayed.

“The pediatrician determined that the two had been profoundly neglected. The muscle tone of the 3-year old was such that it appeared she had spent most of her young life on her back,” said Bradley.

In addition to dirty diapers, piles of trash and the remains of animals, three dead infants were found in the rooms where Murray’s children slept.

The medical examiner is still trying to determine how long the infants were alive, if at all.

“They found a skeleton of a young baby with a fairly full head of hair that was literally stuffed inside a backpack,” Bradley explained to the judge.

Murray’s attorney Keith Halpern suggested in court Tuesday that his client did not do anything malicious to harm those infants.

He would not talk about Murray’s mental state, only saying she is spending about 23 hours a day in isolation, out of concern for her safety.

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“It’s extraordinarily difficult to be isolated like that,” Halpern said.

Murray’s live-in boyfriend Ramon Rivera also appeared in court Tuesday, on charges related to marijuana found growing in the house.

Ramon Rivera in Uxbridge District Court , Oct. 14, 2014. (WBZ-TV)

Ramon Rivera in Uxbridge District Court , Oct. 14, 2014. (WBZ-TV)

In court Halpern said it would be hard to imagine Rivera could live in the house and not be aware of the deplorable conditions.

“There are parts of this story that make absolutely no sense,” said Halpern.

“It makes no sense particularly given how small this house was, that he could’ve lived in this house and shared this bedroom and not realized that there were these two that shared the house with him.”

Prosecutors also said that the charges against Murray could be upgraded once a grand jury investigation concludes.

The condemned house is set to be torn down next week.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Karen Twomey reports


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