COOPERSTOWN – In just over three hours, a jury found Kimberly Steeley, 27, Decatur, not guilty in the June 2018 deaths of her infant twins, Bonde and Liam.
Steeley’s attorney, Andrew Van Buren, made the case that the babies died of SIDS – Sudden Infant Death Syndrome – in part, because they had come home from the hospital too soon. Both babies were preemies; Bonde, was just over 4 pounds when she died, and that Liam, who died 11 days later, was 5.14 pounds.
On Friday, March 6, Steeley testified that although she did fall asleep in bed with both of them on the nights they died, at no point was her body, bedding or clothing obstructing their airways.
Pausing frequently to wipe away tears, Kimberly Steeley took the stand for nearly two hours to testify in her own defense against charges that she smothered her two infant children, Bonde and Liam, in June 2018. Bonde died on June 5, the night she was brought home from the hospital, after Steeley said she placed the infant face-up on her lap and fell asleep. 11 days later, she was sleeping with Liam next to her on a pillow and awoke to find him unresponsive. “It was a nightmare,” she said. “I was in such shock (after Liam died) that I had to be sedated at the hospital.” But District Attorney John Muehl, inset left, maintains that Steeley, who admitted to using suboxone for an opioid addiction, committed manslaughter when she used the drug and brought them into bed, having introduced prior testimony that nurses had told her not to co-sleep, as well as testimony that the cause of death was asphyxiation. The prosecution rested after her testimony, and closing statements will begin Monday morning; if found guilty, Steeley faces 30 years in prison, 15 for each child. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)
The manslaughter trial of Kim Steeley, 27, of Decatur – seen weeping in court today – opened with two contrasting scenarios in Otsego County Court this morning. In his opening statement, District Attorney John Muehl blamed the mother for the June 2018 deaths of twins Liam and Bonde, born prematurely: “The real problem was, she (Steeley) was high and she nodded off on these children. In her altered state, she suffocated them.” But in his opening statement, defense lawyer Andrew Van Buren, Hobart, pointed out the father of the twins, Tommy Hewitt, was sleeping in the same bed, and had been furious when he learned Steeley was pregnant, punching her and chipping a tooth. Still, Hewitt only leveled charges against Steeley after he was arrested under the influence and was looking for leverage, the lawyer said. “He’ll retract everything he said,” added Van Buren. Both Steeley and Hewitt are expected to testify. Both, according to the lawyers, were using Suboxone, an intoxicant used to wean drug users from hard drugs. Inset are twins, Liam, a boy, and Bonde, a girl. (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)
COOPERSTOWN – Kimberly Steeley, the woman accused of smothering her twins Bonde and Liam in 2018, did so by falling asleep while in bed with the children, District Attorney John Muehl told Judge John Lambert during a suppression hearing in Otsego County Court on Monday.
“She told police she nodded off in bed with them,” he said. “She was reckless, and there is evidence that she was abusing prescription medication to the point of intoxication while she was caring for them.”
Muehl also asked that Steeley’s three DUI convictions, including one in the Town of Maryland in January 2018, five months before the twins’ deaths, should be used as evidence to her recklessness in her upcoming trial.
DECATUR – On Saturday, May 4, Kimberly Nicole Steeley wrote a poem on her Facebook page, titled, “If I knew x Two,”
“If I knew it was the last time I would hold you x2, If I knew it would be the last time I kissed you x2…If I knew love that Deeply x2, If I knew I would
Have tried to save you x2,” she wrote.
On Wednesday, May 8, Steeley, 27, Decatur, was arrested and charged with two counts of second-degree manslaughter in the 2018 deaths of her twin infant children, Liam and Bonde Steeley, barely a month old whey they were found dead in their bassinettes, 16 days apart.
“At first, everyone thought Bonde died of SIDS,” said District Attorney John Muehl. “Then 11 days later, Liam died of the same condition.”
According to Rob O’Brien, Otsego County 911 director, the first call came into the county’s 911 center at 6:28 a.m. on Tuesday, June 5, to a house at 185 Skinner Hill Road in the Town of Decatur, where they found the female child unresponsive.
DECATUR – Kimberly Steeley’s infant twins, Bonde and Liam, both died from asphyxiation, according to District Attorney John Muehl.
“At first, everyone thought Bonde died of SIDS,” said Muehl. “Then 11 days later, Liam died of the same condition.”
Steeley, 27, Decatur, was indicted on two counts of second-degree manslaughter, one for each child, for recklessly causing the death of her children last June. The twins, born May 15, were barely a month old at the time of their deaths.