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Mother Pleads Guilty to Killing Daughter Seven Years Later

Posted on: January 1, 2010

Mother Pleads Guilty to Killing Daughter Seven Years Later
She was a mother who nearly got away with murder–for killing her own child. But, good police work in Huntington has now lead to a conviction in Florida.

Reporter: Carrie Cline
Email Address: carrie.cline@wsaz.com

She was a mother who nearly got away with murder–for killing her own child. But, good police work in Huntington has now lead to a conviction in Florida. It’s a story we first brought you nearly five years ago. Now, Amanda Butler is headed to prison for up to 45 years.

Amanda Butler barely spoke a word in this Jacksonville, Florida courtroom after accepting a plea bargain. The now 29-year-old has plead guilty to second degree murder punishable by up to 45 years in prison for killing her two-year-old daughter, Cheyenne, more than seven years ago.

For more than a year, Cheyenne’s death went unexplained after numerous mysterious seizures that eventually lead to her death. Doctors suspected foul play–police believed Butler was smothering her baby to get attention. But, they didn’t have the evidence to prove it until she tried it again–this time in a hospital room at Cabell Huntington Hospital.

“The prosecutor got an order from a judge to tape Butler and security watched that tape around the clock and they caught her,” said Sgt. Kendra Beckett.

Sgt. Beckett worked that case. She says the hospital’s diligence in following a hunch lead to a charge of child abuse and saved baby Ryley’s life. After a long legal fight in Florida, prosecutors there were able to use the same surveillance video to force a guilty plea in Cheyenne’s death.

“It’s thrilling! It was a great way to start the new year and bring closure to this case for everyone involved all the way around,” said Sgt. Beckett.

Butler was diagnosed with Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy — a disorder that prompts parents to harm their children to get attention for themselves. She served one year in prison for the child abuse charge related to smothering Ryley. In the case of Cheyenne, police say she was trying to prompt the Navy to send her husband back home from a deployment.

http://www.wsaz.com/news/headlines/80445567.html

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