A Leavenworth woman has pleaded not guilty to a second-degree murder charge in connection to the death of her son.

A Leavenworth woman has pleaded not guilty to a second-degree murder charge in connection to the death of her son.

Catherine M. Smith, 31, entered the plea Monday in Leavenworth County District Court.

District Judge Michael Gibbens scheduled a trial for Jan. 21.

Smith is charged with reckless second-degree murder in connection to the Nov, 29, 2018, death of her 19-month-old son.

Smith is not accused of intentionally killing the boy. But the death is alleged to have resulted from reckless behavior under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life.

Smith is alleged to have left her son in a room where the temperature exceeded 90 degrees without checking on him for an extended period.

During Monday’s arraignment, Gibbens asked prosecution and defense attorneys how long they anticipate the trial will last.

“I think we will need at least four days,” Deputy County Attorney Joan Lowdon said.

Gibbens said the trial needed to be scheduled within 180 days from Monday’s arraignment. The judge initially looked at possible dates in December, but indicated there were not many dates available.

At one point, he suggested the week of Christmas.

Lowdon questioned whether there would be enough jurors available that week.

Defense attorney Clinton Lee expressed concern people may not be happy about having to serve on a jury at Christmastime.

“I prefer to avoid ill-tempered jurors at this point,” Lee said.

Gibbens scheduled the trial for Jan. 21.

The judge already has another trial set for this date. But Lee said his client does not mind having her trial scheduled as a backup to the other case.

Gibbens scheduled a pretrial motions hearing in Smith’s case for Dec. 27.

Smith is free on bond. Court records indicate she was released on a $25,000 bond Sept. 16.

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