MIAMI, OK — An Ottawa County jury deliberated about an hour Thursday before convicting a Quapaw woman of murder and recommending she serve a life sentence with the chance of parole.
Skye Reece, 20, was visibly distraught and wept hysterically as the jury foreman announced she was convicted of first-degree murder in the death of 17-month-old Lanceton Hollenbeck.
The 11-man, one-woman jury made its decision after three days of testimony.
“Lanceton's mother and father were very pleased with the verdict,” Ottawa County District Attorney Eddie Wyant said.
Wyant said Reece will have to serve at least 38 years before she is eligible for parole.
Lanceton died Feb. 12 after he was taken off life support. The state medical examiner's office ruled his death a homicide and said the cause of death was blunt trauma to the skull and brain.
During closing arguments, Reece wept, at times uncontrollably. Tearful sobs also were heard throughout the courtroom.
Reece and Ryan Nowlin, the toddler's father, were living together at the time of the accident. Nowlin testified he had a son with Reece who was about 4 months old at the time of Lanceton's death. Nowlin said he has custody of the child.
On the day the toddler was injured, Lanceton was staying at his father's house for a weekend visit.
Reece did not testify during her trial, but according to an arrest affidavit, she told police officers she was the only adult in the home and Lanceton had been playing in his bedroom. Reece said she heard a loud noise, but no crying, according to the affidavit.