Michelle Kehoe ARRESTED/FOUND GUILTY - 7 yo son found hurt, toddler's death/homicide

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Mother Charged with Murder; Iowa Toddler Found Dead

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) -- The mother of a toddler who was found dead after being reported missing by his father was charged with the boy's murder.

Michelle Kehoe, 35, was charged Thursday with first-degree murder in the death of 2-year-old Seth Kehoe. Buchanan County Attorney Allan VanderHart said she also faces charges of attempted murder and child endangerment resulting in serious injury for attacking her 7-year-old son, Sean.

Eugene Kehoe reported his wife and children missing Sunday night. They left their Coralville home to visit relatives earlier in the day and were found Monday when Michelle Kehoe walked into a home in Littleton and said the children were in danger, investigators had said.

According to affidavits filed Thursday, Sean told investigators that his mother stopped the van in Littleton, where she placed duct tape over his face and led him out of the vehicle. He then described feeling his neck being cut.

He told investigators he heard his younger brother call out and saw his mom hurting him, the affidavits stated.

According to an autopsy conducted by the State Medical Examiner, Seth died as a result of sharp force injuries to the neck.

The documents said Michelle Kehoe indicated she had planned the incident for months and bought the knife a month ago. She also wrote a note around the same time, detailing a story of being abducted with her children.

The note was found in the family's van by investigators.

VanderHart declined to discuss the case. Police said Michelle Kehoe didn't have an attorney yet.

The attack came about 10 months after Michelle Kehoe veered her car off the road and into the icy Iowa River. She had said she was distracted by her children and lost control of the car. All were saved with help from bystanders.

More than 200 mourners attended Seth's funeral Saturday in Iowa City, in the same church where he was baptized 20 months ago.

Kehoe remained at an Iowa City hospital after undergoing surgery for wounds she had when she was found. Police have neither released her condition nor indicated the nature of her injuries.

Sean was released from the hospital Friday.


Mother charged with murdering 2-year-old son

Friday, October 31, 2008 9:54 AM CDT
LITTLETON - The mother of a 2-year-old boy who was found dead in a wooded area near Littleton Monday, has been charged with her son’s murder. The toddler died after his throat was slashed.

 Arrest warrants were issued Thursday, Oct. 30, for Michelle Kehoe, 35, of Coralville.

A press release from the Department of Public Safety said that based on evidence collected at the crime scene and witness statements, she will be charged with one count of Murder in the First Degree, one Count of Attempt to Commit Murder and one count of Child Endangerment Resulting in Serious Injury. 

The arrest warrants and pending charges are a direct result of a 3-day long investigation that began when Michelle Kehoe and her two sons, 2-year-old Seth Kehoe and seven year old Sean Kehoe, after having been reported missing, resurfaced in Littleton, Iowa on Monday morning, Oct. 27.  When law enforcement and medical personnel arrived at “Hook N Liner Pond,” the location Michelle provided, Michelle and Sean were both suffering injuries.  Seth was found dead at the scene.  An autopsy later revealed Seth died of sharp force injuries to the neck.

Michelle and Sean were both transported to hospitals where they underwent surgery for their wounds. Michelle Kehoe will be arrested and charged upon her discharge from the hospital, authorities said Thursday.

At the scene of the crime, investigators recovered duct tape and a knife.

During the investigation Sean Kehoe stated that his mom had driven the van to the location, duct taped his eyes, nose and mouth, and removed him from the van.  He also stated that his mom was the one who gave him the cut on his neck.

While being interviewed by investigators, Michelle stated that she had purchased duct tape and a knife one month prior.  She also stated that she put duct tape on Seth’s eyes, mouth and wrists and that it all happened within five minutes and prior to 1:30 p.m. on Sunday.

The three were apparently on their way to visit relatives in Sumner and had left Coralville about 8 a.m. The boys’ father and Michelle’s husband Eugene Kehoe reported his family missing about 8 p.m. that night after they failed to arrive at their destination. They were last seen in Jesup about 12:30 p.m., Sunday, prior to the incident on Monday.

Michelle Kehoe had been involved in a life-threatening situation with her children last December . She was driving a car with her two sons when it plunged into the icy Iowa River. In that incident, the children and mother were rescued by bystanders. At the time, Michelle said her sons had distracted her while she was driving, causing her to lose control of the car.

Depression defense expected in boy’s death  :roll:

November 04, 2008

IOWA CITY, Iowa - A prosecutor in the case of a Coralville woman accused of killing one son and injuring another son expects a defense of postpartum depression or postpartum psychosis.

Michelle Kehoe, 35, is charged with first-degree murder, attempted murder and child endangerment. She’s accused of killing her 2-year-old son, Seth, and injuring her 7-year-old son, Sean, on Oct. 26 in a remote area near Littleton in northeast Iowa.

Kehoe’s attorney hasn’t been identified. Buchanan County Attorney Allan Vander Hart said he expects the defense will say Kehoe was suffering from postpartum depression or psychosis when she allegedly harmed her children.

Experts offer a range of explanations for the mood swings and anxiety that follows childbirth.

Depression can get worse because of disruptions in sleep or social activities, said Robin Kopelman, a clinical assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Iowa.

Kopelman said postpartum psychosis, a rarer condition, can cause a mother to be delusional and at increased risk for suicide or homicide.

“Whenever a woman harms her children in some way, her mental health is brought into question,” Kopelman said. “It’s difficult for most people to imagine a mother harming her child.”

Kopelman said while postpartum depression usually begins within weeks of childbirth, women can suffer from the disorder for several years if it is not treated.

The Iowa Supreme Court recently ordered a new trial for a Des Moines woman convicted of drowning her 2-year-old son in Saylorville Lake in 1998. The court ruled Heidi Anfinson’s attorney should have submitted evidence of postpartum depression.

Michelle Kehoe and her two sons left Coralville to visit relatives in Sumner but never arrived. Her husband, Eugene Kehoe, reported them missing.

Michelle Kehoe and her sons were found the next morning after she walked to a house and said a man had abducted them.

According to court documents, Kehoe used duct tape to cover her sons’ eyes, noses and mouths before allegedly cutting their necks with a knife.

Kehoe recanted her story about the abduction and told investigators she didn’t know why she hurt her children.

Kehoe, who was also injured, remains at University Hospitals in Iowa City.

Vander Hart said patient confidentiality laws have made it impossible for officials to learn her condition. Kehoe is expected to be taken into custody once she leaves the hospital.

Last winter, Kehoe and her two sons were rescued after her car veered off the road and plunged into the icy Iowa River. She said was distracted by her children and lost control of the car.

Michelle Kehoe Found Guilty   ::MonkeyGavel::  ::MonkeyJustice::

Story Updated: Nov 5, 2009 at 7:18 PM CST

GRUNDY CENTER (KCRG & AP) - A jury has found Michelle Kehoe guilty of killing her 2-year-old son and injuring the boy's older brother.

The jury deliberated for about two hours before returning its verdict early Thursday afternoon. The panel found the 36-year-old Coralville woman guilty of first-degree murder, attempted murder and child endangerment.

She faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison.

She was accused of driving her two children to a pond near Littleton, where she covered their faces with duct tape before slicing their throats with knife on Oct. 26, 2008.

Two-year-old Seth Kehoe died in the attack. His 7-year-old brother, Sean, survived.

Kehoe's attorney didn't dispute the facts of the case but argued that Kehoe suffered from a mental illness and couldn't fully understand her actions.

Complete Coverage of the Kehoe Trial

BOO HOO POOR ME!  ::MonkeyViolin::

Michelle Kehoe reacts as guilty verdicts are read on the charges against her of first-degree murder, attempted murder and child endangerment at the Grundy County Courthouse in Grundy Center, Iowa on Thursday, November 5, 2009. The Coralville woman was found guilty of cutting the throats of her two young sons; seven-year-old Sean who survived the attack and two-year-old Seth who died of his injuries, in an attack on October 26, 2008 near Littleton in Buchanan County.

 ::MonkeyJustice:: ::MonkeyHang::


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