Douglas County District Attorney Charles Branson announced this afternoon that a jury convicted Eudora resident Carrody M. Buchhorn, 44, of one count of Murder in the Second Degree, Reckless.
On September 29, 2016, emergency personnel was dispatched to a 911 call at the Sunshine Kids Group Daycare Center in Eudora in reference to an unresponsive child. Fire and medical personnel arrived to find daycare staff performing CPR on an infant. The infant was transported to Lawrence Memorial Hospital by ambulance where he was later pronounced dead.
A later autopsy revealed suspicious injuries to the infant. The autopsy revealed the infant suffered a fracture to the back of the skull. The fracture was approximately two and a half to three inches long and traveled down to the base of the spinal cord. The coroner also observed bruising on the infants head.
Buchhorn, an employee of Sunshine Kids Daycare, was interviewed by Eudora Police and stated she was one of only two adults working in the daycare that day. The investigation revealed that Buchhorn was the last person to be in contact with the infant before the infant was discovered unresponsive.
The State put on evidence at trial that Buchhorn applied blunt force trauma to the 9 month old child causing his death. The coroner testified at trial that the injury immediately rendered the infant unconscious and he died quickly after that.
Buchhorn’s jury trial began in the Division Two courtroom on Monday, July 16, 2018 with jury selection. Opening arguments were delivered Tuesday afternoon. The case continued throughout the week and into the next. Closing arguments were delivered Tuesday afternoon, July 24, 2018. The verdict was returned today at approximately 3:15 p.m.
Based upon Kansas Sentencing Guidelines Buchhorn faces between 123 and 109 months in the custody of the Kansas Department of Corrections. The Court ordered a pre-sentence investigation report be completed and remanded her into the custody of the Douglas County Sheriff’s Department awaiting sentencing. Sentencing is scheduled for August 31, 2018.
The Honorable Sally Pokorny presided over the case. The case investigated by the Eudora Police Department with the assistance of the Lawrence Police Department. The case was prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Attorney C.J. Rieg and Assistant District Attorney Mark Simpson. The case was defended by Paul Morrison and Veronica Dersch.
*Rule 226 - Kansas Rules of Professional Conduct
3.6 Advocate: Trial Publicity
3.8 Advocate: Special Responsibilities of a Prosecutor