The trial for Whitley Evenson, accused of killing her infant son in September 2015 in Independence, is scheduled to begin Monday.
Evenson, 21, was charged more than three years ago with second-degree murder and child endangerment after she allegedly suffocated 6-week-old Derek Evenson with her hand because she had been agitated by his crying.
Evenson had posted a bond percentage and was first scheduled to go on trial in December 2016, but she failed to appear at a July pre-trial conference and became a fugitive. She was captured by U.S. Marshals Service deputies in western Idaho nearly three months later and has remained in custody since then.
Earlier that day in October 2016 deputies mistakenly detained a 35-year-old breast cancer patient whose recently shaved head gave her an appearance similar to the description of the short-haired Everson.
According to court documents, after her son died Evenson initially told police she had awakened a few hours after feeding and changing Derek's diaper at her West Short Avenue residence, only to find him still and not breathing.
Later, police received an audio recording from a man who believed Evenson, who was 17 at the time, was lying and got her to admit her true actions. She then admitted to police that she placed her hand over his mouth, though she knew it was wrong, and told police she thought Derek was sleeping.
Evenson's trial has been rescheduled several times, and she has received and passed a mental examination – requested by prosecutors – to determine her fitness to stand trial. An evidence-suppression hearing is scheduled for Friday.
RONAR SANTIAGO-TORRES: The trial for Santiago-Torres, one of four defendants in the violent burglary that led to an Independence police officer’s career-ending injury nearly two years ago, has been pushed back to March 25. It was scheduled to begin Monday.
Santiago-Torres, 29, is charged with robbery, attempted robbery, burglary, kidnapping, assault of a law enforcement officer, resisting arrest and armed criminal action. He was arrested from the stolen SUV driven by Joseph Wyatt, who was found guilty of eight charges in connection with the incident and was sentenced earlier this month to 40 years in prison. Santiago-Torres allegedly joined Torres in the burglary and kidnapping of homeowner Don Fowler, which prompted the police response that ultimately resulted in Officer Tom Wagstaff accidentally getting hit in head with a freak ricochet of a friendly-fire bullet.