Whitley Evenson, who pleaded guilty to smothering her infant child to death in September 2015 when she was not yet 18 years old, is scheduled to be sentenced Tuesday at the Eastern Jackson County Courthouse.
Evenson, now 21, pleaded guilty last month to involuntary manslaughter and faces up to seven years in prison. Circuit Judge Marco Roldan will sentence Evenson, who had been charged with second-degree murder and child endangerment, and as part of the plea deal prosecutors dropped the second charge.
Evenson's plea occurred on the day jury selection was scheduled for her trial. During her hearing, she said she now takes three medications for a variety of mental health ailments – depression, anxiety, mood disorder and PTSD – as she clearly understood and answered all of Roldan's questions.
According to court documents, after her son died in on Sept. 16, 2015, Evenson initially told police she had awakened a few hours after feeding and changing the baby's diaper at her West Short Avenue home, only to find him still and not breathing.
Later, police received an audio recording from a man who believed Evenson 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 her son was sleeping.
Evenson's trial was rescheduled several times – the first time after she skipped a pre-trial hearing, turned fugitive and ultimately was captured by U.S. Marshals in western Idaho – and she received and passed a mental examination.
XAVIER OTERO: Otero, 33, from Kansas City, Kansas, is one of three people charged with murder in the October 2017 death of 72-year-old William Domann in his Independence home. His trial had been scheduled for April 8 but has been rescheduled for Jan. 27, 2020 after a continuance.
Co-defendant Onelio Garcia has a pre-trial conference scheduled for June 24, and co-defendant Nathan Hendricks' trial has been rescheduled from May 20 to Aug. 12.
DAVID RACY III: Racy, 26, of Kansas City, pleaded guilty on March 27 to voluntary manslaughter for the fatal shooting of Steven Ragsdale at an Independence apartment complex on Dec. 30, 2017. Racy had been charged with second-degree murder, and he is scheduled to be sentenced May 24.
A co-defendant, Valincia Alexander of Independence, pleaded guilty last August to second-degree murder, felony death from fleeing a scene. Alexander was Ragsdale's boyfriend and according court documents set up a drug deal in which she and Ragsdale intended to rip off the dealer. Her sentencing is scheduled for June 7.
TIFFANY PHOMMARATH: Phommarath, charged with second-degree murder in the May 2018 shooting death of Jordan Schiager in Blue Springs, had her trial rescheduled from April 1 to Dec. 12.
MICHAEL DUMAS: Dumas, 28, of Pleasant Hill is charged with first-degree murder in last November's shooting death of Sarah Simms in Independence, and his trial is scheduled for Nov. 12. Simms had been considered a “key cooperating witness” in Dumas' trial for second-degree murder in a September 2017 shooting. A pre-trial conference for that case, originally scheduled for March 29, has been rescheduled for Nov. 12, coinciding with the other murder trial.