Baby sitter pleads not guilty to infant's death

Friday, April 10, 2009 | 1:29 p.m. CDT

SPRINGFIELD — A southwest Missouri baby sitter has pleaded not guilty to killing a 9-month-old boy in her care.

Brenda Jean Caringer of Willard entered the plea in Greene County Circuit Court on Friday and remained jailed on $250,000 bond. The 53-year-old Caringer was scheduled for a court appearance on June 2.

Prosecutors filed alternate charges of second-degree murder and child abuse resulting in death in the Jan. 6 death of Lucas Theede-Bennett. Should Caringer's case go to trial, jurors will be able to convict her of one of the counts, not both.

An autopsy showed the baby suffered hemorrhages, a skull fracture and other injuries.

Caringer surrendered to Willard police on Feb. 25 after she was charged. Court records say Caringer offered different accounts of what happened.


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