Mother Pleads Guilty for Her Part in Death of Toddler

By Trish Mehaffey, Reporter

CEDAR RAPIDS — A 19-year-old woman pleaded guilty today in Linn County District Court to neglect of a child and involuntary manslaughter in the death of her 2-year-old daughter in 2008.

Brianna Volesky, of Cedar Rapids, was originally charged with child endangerment causing death of her daughter Skylar Inman, who died of blunt force injuries. Her former boyfriend,

Lee Muldoon, 24, of Coggon, has been charged in her July 11, 2008 death with first-degree murder and child endangerment causing death.

Volesky, crying, admitted to the elements of the crime saying she exposed Skylar to a hazard or danger which she couldn't defend herself. She left Skylar in Muldoon's care from May through July 11, while they lived together in Coggon, and allowed Skylar to suffer alleged repeated abuse from him.

Sixth Judicial District Judge Nancy Baumgartner asked Volesky if numerous bruises were found on Skylar after being in Muldoon's care.

Volesky, voice quivering, said yes.

The lesser charges were offered to Volesky contingent upon her testifying against Muldoon in the May 3 trial, Assistant Linn County Attorney Nick Maybanks said. Maybanks will dismiss the child endangerment charge against Volesky if she testifies, no matter if Muldoon is convicted or found innocent.

Maybanks said he also intends to ask the court at sentencing to run the two sentences consecutively, which is 15 years. The maximum prison term for neglect of a child is 10 years and five years on involuntary manslaughter.

Maybanks asked that sentencing not be set until after the Muldoon trial.
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