Trial is this week for the woman charged with second-degree manslaughter for the October, 2016 death of her nine-month old son.
Judge John Atkins heard a motion to continue and a motion to suppress before jury selection began Monday morning. Desiree Catlett, who was 19-years old at the time, was interviewed by Hopkinsville Police Detective Randall Greene and Christian County Deputy Coroner Mike Stokes at Jennie Stuart Medical Center on the night of the infant’s death.
Catlett is heard on the tape telling them she fed the nine-month old Cheetos and ‘regular chips’ with water before putting him and his two-year old brother in the bath tub at their Evergreen Park Drive home.
She told Detective Greene and later explained further to Stokes that she was washing the older boy’s hair when the baby “fell back into the water.”
Catlett estimated it took her about four minutes to pull the infant from the water, but wasn’t sure on that timetable when questioned again.
She was not advised of her Miranda rights to remain silent and to have a lawyer before the interview, so attorneys Allison Mohon and Michael Thompson asked that the tape not be played in trial. Judge Atkins ruled for the Commonwealth, saying the questions were routine for the death of a healthy infant and she was not being held against her will. Detective Greene testified that Catlett was not a suspect in a criminal investigation at the time.
Judge Atkins also denied a defense motion to postpone the trial after Thompson said he received new information from the Medical Examiner’s Office Thursday changing the ‘manner of death’ for the infant from ‘undetermined’ to ‘accidental.’
The judge says the doctor calling it accidental could actually help the defense.
Thompson and Mohon wanted more time to possibly hire an expert who could review the medical records and autopsy report and potentially testify at trial.