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Manslaughter charge dismissed against Tyler Child following coroner's inquest

Laramie County District Attorney Jeremiah Sandburg announced this afternoon in a lengthy statement that he was dropping the manslaughter charge against Tyler Child in relation to the death of a 6-month-old. Below is the statement in full. -- On June 20, 2015, emergency services were dispatched to a call of a 6 month old infant child (C.L.) who was reported to be not breathing and unresponsive. Subsequent to life saving measures being administered by emergency responders, C.L. was transported to Cheyenne Regional Medical Center where he was pronounced deceased by medical personnel. As a result, an investigation was conducted into the cause and manner of C.L.’s death by the Cheyenne Police Department (CPD) in conjunction with the Laramie County Coroner’s Office (LCCO). An autopsy of the deceased infant was conducted on July 1, 2015, at the McKee Medical Center in Loveland, Colorado. Subsequent to the autopsy, the LCCO received word that the Medical Examiner who conducted the autopsy intended to rule C.L.’s death a homicide. This information was shared with detectives at the CPD. Subsequently, detectives consulted with then ADA Manlove, on the best course of action to be taken. Without the authority of, or consulting with, the District Attorney or any of the senior staff, ADA Manlove approved of a probable cause arrest of Tyler Child for Murder in the Second Degree in the death of C.L. As a result, on July 31, 2015, detectives from CPD conducted a probable cause arrest of Tyler Child for the death of C.L. On the morning of August 3, 2015, the District Attorney met with CPD detectives to review the information gathered during the investigation. During the meeting, it was determined that the evidence available at that time did not support a charge of Murder in the Second Degree as there was no evidence that Tyler Child intentionally caused C.L.’s death. It was further determined that if the Medical Examiner confirmed that he intended to rule C.L.’s death the result of homicide, that the evidence would support a charge of Involuntary Manslaughter. After this meeting, speaking directly with the medical examiner, detectives were able to confirm his intent to rule C.L.’s death was the result of homicide. Detectives further confirmed that in this context, “homicide” meant “a wrongful death at the hands of another.” This information was presented to the District Attorney on the afternoon of August 3, 2015. At that time, the formal charge of Involuntary Manslaughter was brought against Tyler Child for the death of C.L based upon the available information. In Mid-September, 2015, the Medical Examiner issued a letter finding that the cause of C.L.’s death was undetermined. Subsequently, meetings were held between the LCCO, detectives from the CPD, and the District Attorney’s Office. A consensus was reached that a review of the autopsy findings would be requested from the Miami-Dade County, Medical Examiner Department, in Miami Florida, due to their expertise in reviewing child deaths. In a letter of review dated November 20, 2015, the Miami-Dade County, Medical Examiner Department indicated that after a review of the information in the case regarding C.L.’s death, by the entire Forensic Pathology staff, the unanimous agreement was that, “the cause and manner of death cannot be determined.” After receipt of the review, additional meetings were held between the LCCO, detectives from the CPD, and the District Attorney’s Office. A consensus was again reached that the LCCO would hold a Coroner’s Inquest during which time all of the evidence gathered during the course of the investigations could be presented to an independent jury drawn from the local community for their determination. The Coroner’s Inquest was held on February 9, 2015, during which time all evidence gathered during the course of the investigations was submitted to the jury, including evidence not previously available to the medical examiners, hearsay evidence that would not have been admissible during a criminal trial and evidence previously ruled inadmissible during the criminal case. After the close of the evidence, the unanimous verdict of the jury was that the cause and manner of C.L.’s death was “undetermined.” The Laramie County District Attorney’s Office has determined that as a result of the finding of “undetermined” made by both medical examiner’s offices and the Coroner’s Inquest, there does not exist, at this time, sufficient probable cause to sustain the charge that Tyler Child is criminally responsible for the death of C.L. and the criminal case has been dismissed. In so dismissing, the Laramie County District Attorney’s Office would note that because there is no statute of limitations in the State of Wyoming, should additional sufficient evidence be secured at some future date, the findings of the medical examiners, the ruling of the Coroner’s Inquest and the present dismissal would not preclude the State from seeking appropriate charges at that time. #shortgo #news