Saying the autopsy report was wrong, a prosecutor Friday dismissed a murder charge against a mother accused of killing her severely disabled daughter with an overdose of medication.
District Attorney Mike Taylor told a judge that new tests showed 15-year-old Ashley Mignano, who had cerebral palsy, did not die July 4 from a fatal dose of phenobarbital. The teenager's mother, Margaret Mignano, had been arrested in August and spent a week in jail before she was freed on $200,000 bond. "I'm floating on a cloud," she said from her attorney's office.
The autopsy report was signed by Dr. Charles Harlan of Nashville, a forensic pathologist who is defending his medical license against state charges of misdiagnosing causes of death in other cases and destroying evidence in criminal investigations.
Friends said Mignano, 50, had described saving the girl's life just three days before she died by hand-pumping her emergency breathing rig during a 90-minute power outage.