Grandmother takes stand; judge to rule on Tuesday
SUNBURY — A Sunbury woman wept on the witness stand today as she testified in her own defense in regards to the death of her granddaughter.
The bench trial for Bertha M. Dreese wrapped up at about 1:30 p.m., and President Judge Robert B. Sacavage said he’ll issue a ruling at 1 p.m. Tuesday. Dreese, 65, had previously agreed to the bench trial, in which there is no jury.
Dreese testified for about an hour on the second day of the trial. The was preceded by the playing of an hour-long video of Dreese’s interview with police.
She was emotional at times as she disputed much of the previous testimony, including that given by her daughter, Heidi Yocum, 30, the mother of 1-year-old Anela Naloni Loner.
The baby was found dead Oct. 16, 2010, from what authorities said was hyperthermia after spending 19 hours in a room where a space heater was operating on high. Dreese, who was baby-sitting the child, is charged with involuntary manslaughter and other crimes.
Further details in Saturday’s print, online and e-editions of The News-Item.