Tahlequah Woman Charged With 3-Year-Old Son's Murder

Tuesday, December 17th 2013, 5:35 pm
By: News On 6

The mother of a 3-year-old Tahlequah boy who died in November has been charged with murder in his death.

Police found Dakota Sanders' body in a room in a boarding house in Tahlequah. They say he'd been either strangled or suffocated.

They arrested the parents, Buford Ellison and Jeri Sanders, but Ellison died of cancers a few days later.

11/19/2013: Related Story: Tahlequah Police Arrest Two In Death Of 3-Year-Old Boy

Prosecutors filed a 1st degree murder charge against Sanders Tuesday.

According to an affidavit filed in the case, Sanders said Dakota screamed and cried when she put him to bed, so she gave him to Ellison to get him to sleep. When she returned to the room, she found Dakota lifeless and wedged face-first in a recliner under Ellison's arm and body, according to police.

Police say instead of immediately calling 911, Sanders took Dakota to a babysitter at the rooming house. The neighbor thought he was asleep, but had a manager call 911 when he was still unresponsive a couple of hours later.