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Jury selection set for January in Alexandra Eckersley case

Daughter of Hall of Fame pitcher accused of abandoning child

A homeless encampment under the Zaire E. Biron Bridge where a woman identified as 26-year-old Alexandra Eckersley gave birth in a wooded area and is facing charges after she allegedly lied to police about the infant.Suzanne Kreiter/Globe Staff

MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) — Jury selection has been scheduled for January in the case of MLB Hall of Fame pitcher Dennis Eckersley’s adult daughter who gave birth in the woods in New Hampshire in subfreezing temperatures.

Alexandra Eckersley gave birth to a son on Dec. 26 in the woods in Manchester, then left him alone in a tent for more than an hour before police officers found him, authorities said. They accused her of abandoning her child without heat or proper clothing.

Her lawyer said the 26-year-old Eckersley didn’t know she was pregnant, gave birth alone, called 911, and led police to the baby. She said Eckersley suffered medical complications. She pleaded not guilty to charges of assault, reckless conduct, and falsifying physical evidence.

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Since then, she finished rehabilitation programs, is sober, and sees her son twice a week, her lawyer said.

“She just saw him yesterday,” defense attorney Kim Kossick told WMUR-TV. “I’ve seen tons of pictures of him. He’s beautiful and healthy.”

A court document indicated there was a plea offer and a response to it, but it offered no details.

A man who was arrested with Eckersley is scheduled for trial in August on charges of tampering with witnesses, reckless conduct and endangering the welfare of a child.

Eckersley is the daughter of Dennis Eckersley, who was drafted by Cleveland as a California high schooler in 1972, went on to pitch 24 seasons as both a 20-win starter and a 50-save reliever for Cleveland, Boston, the Cubs, Oakland and the Cardinals. He won the AL Cy Young and MVP awards in 1992 while playing for the Oakland Athletics. Eckersley retired last year from broadcasting Boston Red Sox games.

The Eckersley family released a statement in December saying they had no prior knowledge of Alexandra’s pregnancy and were in complete shock. They were seeking guardianship of the boy.

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The statement said that Alexandra Eckersley, whom they referred to as “Allie,” has suffered from “severe mental illness her entire life” and that the family did their very best to get her help and support.