Wichita mom, boyfriend plead not guilty in toddler's death

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WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) -

A Wichita mother and her boyfriend have pleaded not guilty to murder in connection with the death of the woman's 2-year-old son.

Anthony Bunn died two days after suffering head and face injuries at his Riverside home on May 4. His mother, 22-year-old Elizabeth Woolheater, and her boyfriend, 25-year-old Lucas Diel, are charged with first-degree murder.

The two enter their pleas during arraignment Thursday morning.

A court document states Woolheater admitted to hitting Tony the morning of the incident, after Tony refused to swallow his food. Woolheater told police she then left the room and heard Diel talking to Tony. Moments later,Woolheater says she heard what sounded like Tony being spanked. That's when Woolheater found Tony in his room unresponsive.

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In his statement, Diel said he never touched Tony and that it may have been Woolheater who spanked Tony.

The document says Tony had several injuries including extensive trauma to the head, a broken nose, fractured bones, bruised ribs, eyes swollen shut and red bruising of the eyelids, bruising along the spine and swelling of the brain.

Woolheater and Diel remain jailed on $250,000 each. 

Allegations of child abuse involving Anthony were reported in October of last year. District Attorney Marc Bennett said there was insufficient evidence to support criminal charges.

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