A 21-year-old Mitchell woman who police say admitted to kicking a 5-year-old boy five times resulting in his death made her initial appearance on Thursday morning at the Davison County Public Safety Center.
Julia Lee Carter now faces a second-degree murder charge, a life prison sentence if convicted. She was initially charged with first-degree manslaughter and abuse or cruelty to a minor, among other charges.
Second-degree murder, according to state law, is perpetrated by any act imminently dangerous to others and evincing a depraved mind, without regard for human life, although without any premeditated design to effect the death of any particular person. Manslaughter is perpetrated “without any design to effect death,” according to South Dakota Codified Law.
Authorities said that on June 22 Carter called 911 and was bringing the child to the hospital because he was not breathing. The boy died at the hospital and an autopsy later indicated that the boy died as the result of blunt force trauma to the abdomen and the death was ruled a homicide.
On Thursday, Carter was present via ITV when magistrate judge Donna Bucher read through her rights. Bucher also advised Carter of the maximum penalty for second-degree murder, first-degree manslaughter, aggravated assault and child abuse.
The court appointed Chris Nipe as Carter’s attorney. Her cash bond was set at $100,000, with her arraignment set for Tuesday.
Second-degree murder is a Class B felony, punshiable upon conviction with a mandatory life sentence in prison and a $50,000 fine. First-degree manslaughter charges are a Class C felony, which is subject to a maximum penalty of life in prison in the state penitentiary and a $50,000 fine.
Aggravated assault and abuse or cruelty to a minor is a Class 3 felony when the victim is less than age 7, subject to a maximum penalty of 15 years in the state prison and a $30,000 fine.