Thursday, 16 December 2010

SBS: Mississipi; Michael and Amanda Voyles

Justin Fritscher:  December 14, 2010
Michael and Amanda Voyles both pleaded not guilty Monday to capital murder and felonious child abuse charges in connection with the July 2009 death of their 2-month-old son. Their trials are set for June.
"Our office has not decided whether to seek the death penalty or not," Madison-Rankin District Attorney Michael Guest said. "That decision won't be made until we get closer to the trial."
Circuit Judge William Chapman ruled the two would be held without bond, despite a defense petition to set a bond for Amanda Voyles.
"A preliminary investigation shows she was not present when the child was hospitalized," Public Defender Bill Townsend said.
An autopsy revealed Elisha Voyles suffered trauma to the body and head, dying from shaken baby syndrome, Guest said. An indictment from the July grand jury describes harsh treatment for the infant including whipping, striking and mutilation.
"These are the types of crimes where you have parents who have poor parenting skills," Guest said. "Both parents were unable to cope with the crying of their child."
Michael Voyles was arrested in July 2009, after the infant died at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. A person at the the Voyleses' residence in the Shady Grove mobile home community called 911, telling authorities an infant was not breathing.
That's when Pearl police began an investigation, said Lt. Butch Townsend, one of the officers who responded to the call.
Amanda Voyles was arrested in July after her husband was indicted. She was indicted in October.
One of the defendants will be represented by the Mississippi Office of Capital Defense Counsel.

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