A California mother and her boyfriend are on trial for the first degree murder of 3-year-old Kayleigh Slusher. Kayleigh’s body was found in a suitcase on a bed, thawing out from the freezer, and the parents were arrested the day after, trying to flee at a nearby train station.
The mother, Sara Lynn Krueger, 27, and her mother’s boyfriend, Ryan Scott Warner, 29, are each accusing the other of killing the child.
Police say that the couple had gotten high on methamphetamine for several days before they ended up beating the three year old to death, and putting her body in the freezer.
The Daily Mail reports:
Police found the girl’s body on Saturday, February 1, 2014, thawing in the suitcase on a bed in the couple’s apartment, after receiving a call to conduct a welfare check at the house.
An autopsy showed that the girl had died of blunt force trauma.
Krueger and her boyfriend were arrested the next day at a BART station in El Cerrito when witnesses spotted the fugitives.
The trial for the couple started on May 1. During the trial, each of their defense attorneys blamed the other partner for little Kayleigh’s death.
Warner’s attorney said there was no evidence that he took part in the abuse, while Krueger’s attorney claimed that it was Warner who inflicted the final blow to Kayleigh’s abdomen while her mother was asleep.
Krueger’s attorney conceded that she had been using methamphetamine in the days before her daughter’s death, but that her maternal love for her daughter meant she would have never hurt her.
Deputy District Attorneys Lance Hafenstein said that by not getting her daughter help, Krueger was responsible for her murder.
‘Kayleigh died because of what was done to her and what was not done for her,’ he told the jury.
It took Krueger’s jury a day to deliberate before coming to the guilty verdict on Thursday. As the verdict was read, she was held by her attorney. Once she turned to look at the galley with tears in her eyes. The family members who were there for the closing arguments were not present.