MIAMI, Okla. — A Missouri woman was held over for trial Friday in connection with the death of her 15-month-old daughter.
Catherine Jean White, 30, of Goodman, Mo., is charged in Ottawa County District Court in Miami with child neglect for her part in the Feb. 26, 2006 death of Kenna Jayde White.
Thursday’s hearing was the continuation of White’s preliminary hearing which was cut short in February to allow Special Judge Alicia Littlefield time to review three video recorded interviews.
McKenna was in the care of Travis Gerald Steed, White’s then boyfriend when she died at a Miami motel. She had several blunt-force trauma impacts to her face and head, and she had a 5-inch skull fracture, a medical examiner's report stated.
White confessed to authorities Steed, 31, of Seligman, Mo., and her used methamphetamine, according to a probable cause affidavit.
“White stated she used smoked ‘one or two hits’ and Steed used the rest of the methamphetamine,” the affidavit states.
White testified in Steed’s preliminary hearing she left the toddler in Steed’s care after she left to pick up her children in Goodman, Mo.
"She was ice cold," White said, on finding the baby lying on her stomach in her crib.
McKenna’s body was stiff and that when she tried to roll McKenna over; she noticed the injury to her face.
White, who wore a pin that held a photograph of McKenna, choked back tears during her testimony. Steed only stared at White and showed no emotion.
Originally, Steed was charged with first-degree murder. District Attorney Eddie Wyant amended that charge allowing a jury to convict him of murder for either affecting the death of McKenna by using unreasonable force or by simply permitting the use of unreasonable force upon her which resulted in her death.
White is to return to court March 28 for district court arraignment.