Monday 9/26/1960,” The Bee”, Danville Va
“Sleeping Beauty” Trial halted by Judge’s Illness”
Cleveland, Oh. (AP) Because of illness of Juvenile Court Judge Margaret J. Spellacy the child neglect trial of Lillian Fratantonio, mother of the “Sleeping Beauty” girls was interrupted today. Judge Spellacy 38, was taken to Lakewood Hospital Sunday suffering from severe pleurisy. Her family said the pleurisy followed a severe case of Pneumonia Judge Spellacy suffered six weeks ago. Mrs Fratantonio is accused of mistreating her children, Bernadette 3, and Venita 5, by feeding them barbiturates which kept them in a state of coma for long periods. A statement to police, in which Mrs Fratantonia allegedly told of giving the children barbiturates, has been admitted as evidence by the court. Mrs Fratantonia 29, contends the statement was given under duress and denies she drugged her children. the trial started last Monday, the prosecution still has several witnesses to present.
And then this 9/29/1960 Thursday in the “Lebanon Daily News”
“Mistrial is declared in Sleeping Beauty Case”
Cleveland (UPI) A new trial will be held for Mrs. Lillian Fratantonia 29, charged with child neglect in the drugging of two of her daughters, the famed “Sleeping Beauty” sisters. Juvenile Court Judge Albert Woldman declared a mistrial Wednesday and dismissed the 10 man 2 woman jury that had been hearing the case for a week before Juvenile Court Judge Margaret J. Spellacy. The trial had been in recess since Friday because Judge Spellacy was hospitalized Sunday morning with severe pleurisy. Woldman granted the defense motion for a mistrial because he said “justice would be best served’. he said it was not known how long Judge Spellacy would be ill and it would be unwise and unfair to continue the case indefinitely. Assistant Prosecutor Thomas Osborne had suggested the case be recessed until Judge Spellacy could return, or until a substitute Judge could be appointed to preside. Defense Attorney Leonard Knajewski objected to a continuation on grounds Mrs. Fratantonio constitutional rights would not be protected