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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • Manslaughter trial continued

  • The case of a woman facing an involuntary manslaughter charge in Leavenworth County for the death of her son had been scheduled to go to trial next month. But the trial now is set for June.
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  • The case of a woman facing an involuntary manslaughter charge in Leavenworth County for the death of her son had been scheduled to go to trial next month. But the trial now is set for June.
    The continuance in the case of Monica F. Rivera came Wednesday in Leavenworth County District Court. The continuance came at the request of Assistant County Attorney Cheryl Marquardt, who is prosecuting the case.
    Defense attorney Elaine Halley said she didn't object to the continuance but she could move forward with the case as scheduled.
    The trial was continued until June 24.
    Rivera is charged with involuntary manslaughter and endangering a child in connection with the 2009 death of her 4-year-old son.
    Rivera was convicted in 2010 of the two charges and sentenced to 41 months in prison. But a new trial was ordered in December by the Kansas Court of Appeals. Judges of the Court of Appeals found that errors had been made in instructions provided to jurors during the 2010 trial.
    Marquardt is seeking to amend the complaint, which is the document used to charge Rivera.
    The prosecutor said Wednesday that she wants to make changes to the language of the existing charges. She also wants to add two misdemeanor charges of possession of a hallucinogenic drug and possession of drug paraphernalia.
    Halley requested that this matter be taken up a later date, saying she doesn't believe the prosecutor can add the new charges.
    District Judge Gunnar Sundby continued the matter until March 21. A pretrial conference is scheduled for that time. The judge said a prosecution request to continue the pretrial conference can be taken up during the March 21 hearing.
    Sundby scheduled an April 18 court date to take up motions that will require an evidentiary hearing.

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