Mother Of Missing Boy To Appeal Conviction, Sentence

Sunday, October 21st 2007, 7:30 pm
By: News On 6

ALVA, Okla. (AP) -- Attorneys for a Woodward County woman who was found guilty in the death of her missing son have filed a notice of intent to appeal her conviction and sentence. A Woods County judge ordered Katherine Rutan to serve a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole after a jury convicted her of first-degree murder in the presumed death of Logan Tucker. Logan was 6-years-old when he disappeared in July 2002 and hasn't been seen since.

"This is just the very, very, very beginning," Assistant District Attorney A.J. Laubhan, said of appeal process. "It's a long process ... it wouldn't be hard at all to take a year in this case."

The next step will involve the court clerk and court reporters preparing transcripts and other documents from the trial for the record on appeal. Once the record is complete, the court clerk will send it to the Court of Criminal Appeals, Rutan's appellate attorneys and Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson's office, Laubhan said.

A panel of seven men and five women convicted Rutan, also known as Katherine Pollard, of first-degree murder on August 31 and recommended the term of life without parole. District Judge Ray Dean Linder concurred. The trial was moved from Woodward County to neighboring Woods County because of extensive pre-trial publicity.

Prosecutors alleged that Rutan killed Logan because she viewed him as an inconvenience to her lifestyle and a threat to her relationship with her boyfriend at the time. During testimony, another boyfriend alleged that Rutan told him she wished she could kill her children and get away with it.

On the witness stand, Rutan's son, Justin, who was 4 at the time of Logan's disappearance, recalled an incident in which his mother took him and his older brother to some property in a wooded area. He said she left Justin in the car while she carried Logan toward a house and returned later without the boy.

The child was discovered missing after law enforcement officers conducted a welfare check in July 2002.

Several searches failed to turn up any sign of the boy.

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