Monday, June 17, 2013
A judge has ruled a southeast Kansas woman will be tried for involuntary manslaughter, rather than murder, in the death of her 4-month-old son.
District Judge A.J. Wachter ordered 25-year-old Heather L. Buckalew bound over for trial last week. Buckalew was originally charged with second-degree murder in the August 2012 death of Memphis Cash Harvey.
The Joplin Globe reports that testimony at a preliminary hearing in May indicated that Buckalew fell asleep after drinking beer with her boyfriend. When he got up to go to work, he found the baby face down on a pillow near his sleeping mother. The boy could not be resuscitated.
A forensic pathologist ruled the child likely was smothered by his mother while they were sleeping.