Monday, 14 March 2011

INFANTICIDE: Oklahoma: Lyndsey Fiddler accused of drowning her infant daughter in a washing machine

03/10/2011 :  Russell Mills
BARTLESVILLE, Okla. - A Bartlesville woman accused of drowning her infant daughter in a washing machine will stand trial, a Washington County judge ruled Thursday.
Lyndsey Fiddler is accused of first-degree murder in the death of her 10-day-old infant, Maggie May Trammel, last November.
The first Bartlesville police officer on the scene last November, Ofcr. Stacy Neafus, told the court that when he arrived firefighters had the baby, whom he described as "limp, lifeless, gray in color."
He testified that he asked Fiddler what had happened, at which point she threw her hands into the air and exclaimed "I guess I put my baby in the washing machine."
Next on the stand was investigator Adam Duncan, who described Fiddler's demeanor during her initial 911 call as "hysterical."
Fiddler, he testified, said she had taken Lortab because of her recent C-section, and said she had smoked marijuana three months earlier.
She told Duncan that she had put the baby down to sleep in a bassinet with a pink blanket and a pacifier, then went to bed herself.
When she awoke, she said her aunt, Rhonda Coshatt, was pulling the baby out of the washing machine.
Duncan told the court that at one point Fiddler tried to blame the death on Coshatt, saying "that crazy b**** killed my baby."
The defense attorney argued that Fiddler's hysterics and attempts to perform CPR on the baby proved that she hadn't intended to kill her.
BPD Investigator Steve Birmingham took the stand later and testified that he arrived to find several officers already on the scene.
He said Ofcr. Duncan directed him to look in the washing machine for a pink blanket, which he found. He noted a "void" in the clothes in the front of the machine, and said the search also turned up a pacifier.
He also testified that officers accidentally turned the machine on when they closed the lid; they immediately unplugged it and photographed the machine's settings.
A light on the machine indicated it was on the second of two spin cycles. Birmingham described the clothes inside as soaking wet.
After a lunch break, Benjamin Trammel, the suspect's boyfriend and the dead infant's father, took the stand.
He said the baby seemed content, and that Fiddler took good care of her. When asked by the defense if the baby appeared at all unhealthy, he said "she seemed small when she was born. Other than that, I thought she was perfect."
Next to testify was Rhonda Coshatt, Fiddler's aunt and the person who discovered the baby's body.
Coshatt said she had been in Tulsa that day for a doctor's appointment. She told the court she was on several medications that day, and had trken a 15 mg morphine pill at about 4:30 that afternoon.
She said Fiddler, Trammel, and Fiddler's two young sons were home when she arrived at the house. The two boys left about 40 minutes later to attend a wrestling practice.
She said Fiddler seemed okay that evening, tired but coherent. However, she said, Fiddler "was on meth." She stated that Trammel had gotten Fiddler started on the drug, that she had tried to quit but he kept bringing it into the house.
Coshatt did admit she never actually saw Fiddler use meth, but she could tell.
"Lyndsey was (sic) a good woman," she said. "She loves her children, but she had a definite problem with methamphetamine."
After the boys left for wrestling, Coshatt said she saw Fiddler sitting in a chair feeding the baby and then getting up, presumably to put the baby down for a nap.
Fiddler returned to the chair and "passed out," according to Coshatt, who was watching TV and had the volume up fairly high.
The boys returned home shortly after 7 p.m. and at that point Coshatt said she tried to check on the baby, but couldn't find her.

After looking under sheets and clothes, she said she became frantic and tried to waken Fiddler, screaming at her asking where she had put the baby.

Fiddler later awoke and wandered the house, according to Coshatt, and then began making a baloney sandwich.
It was around this time when Coshatt said she noticed the washing machine was running off balance and going to investigate, found the baby inside.
“She looked like a doll,” said Coshatt, describing the condition of the baby. She continued on, saying the infant had a line on her forehead and down the left check. She said the baby was cold and wet. She said she tried to revive the baby and was unable to do so.

Around this time Fiddler found Coshatt with the baby and screamed at her, accusing her of killing the child, said Coshatt. The aunt said she told Fiddler it was rather she who killed the child. It was during this time that Fiddler placed the 911 call.
During the closing arguments, Fiddler's defense said Fiddler did not willfully or maliciously kill the child, and that no intent to kill a child charge could be supported.
The state argued that no specific intent was required. The prosecution said evidence collected through urine samples showed Fiddler was under the influence of intoxicants, saying that Fiddler placed
herself in a state of intoxication where she could not care for Maggie May and put her in the presence of drugs, endangering her. Essentially, the state's position was that she killed the child by neglecting her.

The judge ruled there was enough evidence for Fiddler to stand trial for both felony child neglect and first degree murder. Her next court appearance is scheduled for April 27th.

How it happened
The macabre story came to light with a phone call to Bartlesville police from Fiddler on Nov 4, 2010.
She told them that a relative had killed her baby, but the call taker could hear someone in the background yelling that Fiddler had killed the infant.
Police arrived at the home to find Maggie's body in the washing machine.
A medical examiner's autopsy later determined that the 10-day-old child had drowned.
The report indicated that Maggie had contusions on her scalp, left ear, neck, chest and buttocks and abrasions on her cheeks and scalp.
It concluded that she had not suffered any internal injuries.
Initially, Fiddler faced charges of felony child neglect, but a count of first-degree homicide was added after the autopsy was completed.
Investigators say the mother tested positive for methamphetamine and other drugs at the time of her arrest.
The Department of Human Services had made multiple visits to the home prior to Maggie's death, but had not removed the children from the home.
Fiddler has two young sons, who are now in DHS custody.


  1. She knew what she was doing!!!!!!!!

  2. She was probably so drugged out of it, she thought the washing machine was maggie's bed. Horrible. Why did DHS continue to let a meth head care for three children? I hope she rots in jail the rest of her life.

  3. She know she was wrong for that . The baby was so precious .And she sure do need to rot in jail.She dont to come out either.