Attorney says house arrest for Eudora woman accused of killing baby is too inconvenient, asks judge to modify
A judge is considering whether to adjust the conditions of house arrest for a Eudora woman accused of killing a 9-month-old baby — because, the woman’s attorney argued, the house arrest makes completion of household errands difficult.
Wednesday afternoon Carrody Buchhorn, 42, appeared in Douglas County District Court for a scheduling hearing. She currently faces a single felony count of first-degree murder.
During the hearing, Buchhorn’s attorney, Paul Morrison, asked Judge Sally Pokorny to modify the conditions of his client’s house arrest.
In April Pokorny lowered Buchhorn’s bond from $250,000 to $100,000, despite an objection from prosecutor C.J. Rieg. Buchhorn posted bond on April 21 and was released from jail that day.
As a condition of Buchhorn’s release, Pokorny ordered Buchhorn to be held under house arrest and to be monitored with a GPS tracking device. In addition, she ordered Buchhorn to refrain from any contact with the case’s witnesses.
Wednesday, Morrison said Buchhorn’s family is facing several logistical problems with the house arrest. Recently her husband, who often leaves town on weekends for work, has had to stay at home to run to the grocery store and to perform other tasks.
As such, Morrison asked Pokorny to allow Buchhorn to have contact with one of the case’s witnesses, reportedly her best friend. This would allow the friend to perform some of those everyday tasks and would alleviate some of the pressure on Buchhorn’s husband.
Morrison downplayed the witness’ involvement in the case and said the legal process shouldn’t suffer so long as the two don’t discuss the trial.
Rieg objected to Morrison’s request.
Earlier in the hearing Morrison asked for more time before Buchhorn is scheduled for a preliminary hearing due to the “voluminous” amounts of evidence involved in the case.
Pokorny granted Morrison’s request for more time and asked Rieg to update her with more information on the witness in question. Until then, Morrison’s request to alter Buchhorn’s house arrest will be taken under advisement.
Buchhorn is accused of killing Oliver Ortiz Sept. 29, 2016, at Eudora’s Sunshine Kids Group Daycare Home at 1307 Chestnut Lane. Police were called to the scene where Ortiz was unresponsive; he was driven by ambulance to Lawrence Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Previously Rieg said the coroner’s autopsy indicated Ortiz died from three injuries to his head, and his spinal cord was also damaged.
The day care on Chestnut Lane has since been closed by an emergency order from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.
Buchhorn is next scheduled to appear in court on June 21.