20 year old Tulsa cold case homicide solved

Sunday, February 27th 2005, 4:40 pm
By: News On 6

There's justice for a Tulsa toddler killed 20 years ago.

In 1984, Steven Ballandby went to the park with his brother and his mother's boyfriend. Just hours later after returning, the two-year-old was dead. The mother asked her boyfriend what happened. He told her the toddler fell off the merry go round.

Steven's death was ruled a homicide, but no charges were filed, and no one was arrested. Tulsa Police detective Danielle Bishop: "the initial story given didn't match the injuries. That he'd fallen off a merry go round. There's no way the seriousness the severity of the injuries and the number of injuries to different body parts could have been caused by one fall."

Detective Bishop took that information to a forensic pediatrician. It was determined the child had been kicked or punched in the stomach. Witness interviews led Bishop to Ray Martinez, Diana Vaughan's boyfriend at the time.

More than 20 years later, Martinez pleaded "no contest" to first-degree manslaughter and has been sentenced to 15 years in prison.