Trial underway for woman accused of murdering baby at Eudora day care

Eudora resident Carrody Buchhorn, top left, is accused of killing 9-month-old Oliver Ortiz, bottom left, while he was in her care at Eudora's Sunshine Kids Group Daycare Home, right.

Story updated at 5:35 p.m. Monday, July 16, 2018.

The murder trial of a woman accused of killing a baby she cared for at a Eudora home day care opened Monday with jury selection.

The trial for Carrody M. Buchhorn, 44, of Eudora, is scheduled to last a week and a half, running through July 25 in Douglas County District Court. Judge Sally Pokorny said the trial, including jury deliberations, could take a full two weeks, however.

Monday morning, more than 50 potential jurors packed the courtroom. Pokorny told them, without adding further details, “this is a case where a child has died at day care.”

The first attorney to begin questioning potential jurors, prosecutor C.J. Rieg, said the case involved the death of a 9-month-old child and that during the trial, jurors could expect to see upsetting photos.

Within the first hour of jury selection several people were released — a few leaving the courtroom in tears — after telling Rieg that even without knowing more, they found the situation too emotional for them to be impartial.

Buchhorn, who has been on house arrest while her case is pending, appeared in street clothes alongside her attorneys Paul Morrison and Veronica Dersch.

Nine-month-old Oliver “Ollie” Ortiz was found unresponsive the afternoon of Sept. 29, 2016, at Sunshine Kids Group Daycare Home at 1307 Chestnut Lane in Eudora.

The coroner ruled Oliver’s death a homicide, caused by blunt force trauma to the head and torso. The day care closed down shortly after Oliver’s death.

In April 2017, Buchhorn was charged with first-degree murder. Prosecutors say she was the only person with Oliver when his fatal injuries occurred.

More potential jurors were called in after lunch on Monday. By day’s end, a jury still had not been picked.

The selection process was scheduled to resume Tuesday morning.

Contact Journal-World public safety reporter Sara Shepherd


Welcome to the new Our old commenting system has been replaced with Facebook Comments. There is no longer a separate username and password login step. If you are already signed into Facebook within your browser, you will be able to comment. If you do not have a Facebook account and do not wish to create one, you will not be able to comment on stories.