Ashli Sims, News On 6 and NewsOn6.com
BARTLESVILLE, Oklahoma -- A Bartlesville woman charged with killing her infant daughter by putting her in a washing machine pleaded guilty Tuesday to 2nd degree manslaughter and child neglect in a Washington County courtroom.
Lyndsey Fiddler, 26, had waived her right a jury trial on August 9, 2011.
It was a shocking case that united a community.
Last November, ten-day-old Maggie May Trammel found dead in a washing machine.
"Tiny, very tiny. She had long feet and big hands. I only go to see her four times," said Jessica Solis, Maggie May's Aunt.
Her mother Lyndsey Fiddler was arrested, accused of being so high on meth she killed her baby.
"I want people to see the effects of drugs. That's the most important thing I think. It could have been prevented. Like the lady said, it really could have," Solis said.
Fiddler told police she didn't know how the baby ended up in the washing machine.
She was facing a first degree murder charge. But prosecutors say limited samples of Fiddler's blood made it tough to prove how many drugs were in her system.
The DA says it doesn't appear she meant to kill little Maggie May, but he says Fiddler's drug use directly led to the infant's death.
Fiddler ended up pleading guilty to second-degree manslaughter and child neglect.
The DA is recommending Fiddler spend the next 15 years in prison and another 15 years on probation for her role in Maggie May's death.
That sentence would ensure Fiddler's other children would never be placed back in her custody.
Lyndsey Fiddler will be sentenced in October.
Statement from Washington County District Attorney Kevin Buchanan:
Today, Lyndsey Dawn Fiddler entered pleas of guilty to the charges of Manslaughter 2nd Degree and Child Neglect ending a nine-month long investigation and prosecution that has been the focus of the Washington County District Attorney's Office and the Bartlesville Police Department since these crimes occurred in November 2010.
This case has reached a positive resolution in large part due to the hard work and professionalism of the Bartlesville Police Department.
This case involved unique factual and legal circumstances that resulted in the tragic death of Maggie Mae Trammel, the defendant's ten-day old infant.
These unusual circumstances created difficult evidentiary issues, including limited samples of Ms. Fiddler's blood to prove the quantity of drugs in her system.
After extensive review and discussion of the events that lead to the death of Maggie Mae Trammel, the evidence does not indicate that the Defendant intentionally killed her child.
Ms. Fiddler's conscious decision to ingest Methamphetamine, along with other prescription medication, directly led to the death of Maggie Mae. The Defendant's intoxication rendered her incapable of caring for her child and exposed her infant child to the consequences of illegal drug use.
The Washington County District Attorney's Office has made this case a priority and has dedicated many long hours and resources to this successful prosecution.
The culmination of this work has led this office to recommend that the Defendant be sentenced to 30 years with 15 years to be served in the Department of Corrections.
The crime of Child Neglect is categorized as a violent crime and requires the Defendant to serve eighty-five percent of her incarceration before becoming eligible for parole. Parole is not mandated upon reaching eighty-five percent of the Defendant's sentence.
Consideration was given that the recommended sentence will ensure that the Defendant's surviving minor children will reach the age of majority before Ms. Fiddler is released and therefore they will not be placed back into her custody.
After release from incarceration the Defendant will be closely supervised for an additional fifteen years. In the event of future violations of the law or rules of probation the Defendant will be subject to serving the remainder of the sentence in jail.
The Washington County District Attorney's Office is acutely aware of the outrage felt by our community following Maggie Mae Trammel's death.
Given the challenges facing my office in prosecuting this case to a successful and desirable verdict, I believe that an appropriate and just outcome has been reached for Ms. Fiddler's surviving children and all others personally involved and affected by this case.