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Carlinville woman charged in toddler’s death

Ashley Bottoms, 33, of Carlinville was charged on Sat. Oct. 22 for the death of a Carlinville toddler.

Macoupin County State’s Attorney Jordan Garrison announced the arrest in an Oct. 22 Press Release.

On Thursday, Oct. 20, a report was made at the Litchfield Fire Station that a minor child was in distress. It was soon after determined that the three-year-old male was deceased.

The Litchfield Police Department handled the initial investigation but determined that the acts which seemed to lead to the child’s death had occurred in Macoupin County. The investigation was coordinated between the Macoupin County Sheriff’s Department, Carlinville Police Department and Litchfield Police Department.

It was announced that several search warrants were executed with the assistance of the Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office and interviews were held at the Macoupin County Sheriff’s Department by the Sheriff’s Department and the Litchfield Police Department. Bottoms was detained on the criminal charges and bond was set by Judge Joshua A. Meyer on Oct. 22 at $250,000.

Bottoms was charged with Involuntary manslaughter, a Class 2 felony and Endangering the Life of a Child causing Death, a Class 3 felony. If convicted, Bottoms could face three to 14 years in prison for Class 2 Involuntary manslaughter. For the Endangering the life of a Child charge she could face two to 10 years in prison.

According to the charging documents from the Macoupin County State’s Attorney’s Office Bottoms was breaking up a fight in her home between two juveniles. The documents say she “threw [the child] in such a manner away from the fight that caused [the child]’s head to strike a ledge on a half wall leading to blunt force trauma and a brain bleed…”

The documents furthermore state that Bottoms observed the child in distress due to the head injury and drove the child around in a car for over three hours without obtaining medical care.

According to the State Journal Register, Bottoms was the girlfriend of the child’s father. The SJ-R also reported having a conversation with Garrison, where it was revealed she drove to Litchfield to pick up her boyfriend from work. Someone in the car then informed Bottoms the child was unresponsive. She then drove to the Litchfield Fire Department for medical attention for the boy who was later pronounced deceased.

In the Press Release, Garrison stated: “Crimes against children are, by their very nature, some of the worst crimes, with perpetrators leaving families destroyed by their actions. It is alleged that this defendant, a trusted household member, committed this horrific act. I would like to thank Sheriff Shawn Kahl, Chief David Haley, and Chief Kenneth Ryker for their agencies’ coordinated effort. I would also like to thank Detectives Ryan Dixon, Brian Lawton, Brian Reid, and Larry Rayburn for their swift actions leading to these charges.”

Following the announcement from law enforcement the Carlinville School District released their own statement on their Facebook Page.

The District’s statement read: “Carlinville CUSD#1 was made aware that one of our PreK students passed away unexpectedly. We all feel the loss in our schools and community. The district extends its condolences during this difficult time. Counselors are available at the schools beginning Monday for staff and students needing support.”