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Father, girlfriend to be tried separately for death of Brook Stagles

Michael Stagles is charged with criminally negligent homicide. His girlfriend, Erica Bell, is charged with second degree murder in the death of Brook Stagles.

Greece, NY (WHAM) - The father of a 3-year-old girl from Greece, and his girlfriend, will be tried separately for her death.

Michael Stagles is charged with criminally negligent homicide, and Erica Bell faces murder charges for the death of Brook Stagles.

Brook died in November, one day after being taken to the hospital with serious injuries.

Her death was ruled a homicide, caused by blunt force trauma.

Brook's grandfather say she was beaten to death, and wants CPS workers to be held criminally responsible.

In court Friday, counsel to the defense attorney was taken off the case.

The judge says she worked on a case with Michael Stagles ten years ago and would not be able to fairly represent Erica Bell.

Prosecutor Sara VanStrydonck said "His second counsel represented the co-defendant here. That is an actual conflict. That is what the judge found. There is no way for that attorney to stay on the case and ensure both Stagles and Bell will have a fair trial.

Defense Attorney Larry Kasperek said "It's a dramatic development, especially with the trial proceeding as scheduled."

"This is a complicated matter," he Kasperek added.

Bell's trial is expected to begin in about one month.


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