Anniston mother indicted for manslaughter after son dies in van - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Anniston mother indicted for manslaughter after son dies in vehicle

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ANNISTON, Ala. -

A Calhoun County grand jury indicted an Anniston woman for the manslaughter of her infant son.

Katherine Papke's four-month-old son, Bennett Owen Smith, died August 9 at Regional Medical Center in Anniston.

Her attorney, Jim Sturdivant, said Papke drove on the first day she drove her elementary school-aged daughters to school, she and forgot to take her infant son to daycare on her way to work at the For McClellan Readiness Center.

She found her son was still in his car seat around 2 p.m., and called 911.  Anniston police arrested Papke for manslaughter, and a grand jury approved the indictment.

In an interview with ABC 33/40 following her arrest, Papke's attorney said he does not think manslaughter is an appropriate charge.

"She made a horrible mistake and she will live with it for the rest of her life.  She's totally devastated," Sturdivant said.

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