Whitney Turner-Tyson, age 30, of Little Rock, entered a guilty plea in Saline County today to murder in the first degree. Judge Ken Casady sentenced Turner-Tyson, to 40 years imprisonment in the Division of Correction.
On September 15, 2020, Turner-Tyson threw her infant child out of a car along Interstate 30. First responders took the child to Saline Memorial Hospital where she was pronounced dead. Turner-Tyson was at Saline Memorial Hospital due to a possible drug overdose.
She later attempted to enter her infant’s room but was turned away because hospital staff did not know she was the mother. She was arrested within a few hours while walking in a disheveled manner on Carpenter St.
During an approximately 3-hour interview with Arkansas State Police investigators, Turner-Tyson slowly pulled her hair out and barely spoke. Toward the end of the interview she admitted she threw the child out the window, after someone patted her head. There was no evidence that anyone other than Turner-Tyson and her child were in the car.
According to Prosecuting Attorney Chris Walton, this was one of the most emotionally difficult cases for police, witnesses, and his office due to the young age of the child. It was taken into consideration that Turner-Tyson had two psychological exams prior to trial.
“A jury would have heard testimony about her mental health, years of abuse, and terrible family history,” Walton stated. “A jury also would have been able to consider several lesser offenses with decreasing sentencing ranges which could have resulted in an unacceptably low sentence.”
Murder in the first degree is punishable by 10-40 years or life in prison. By pleading guilty to the offense, Turner-Tyson will be forced to serve a minimum of 70% of her sentence before she could be considered for parole. She has remained in the Saline County jail since her arrest.
Read the original article below:
State Police CID Investigating 3 child deaths on highways
UPDATE SEPT 17, 2020
We now know the suspect in Tuesday’s incident where a two-year-old child died after being left on the side of the Interstate near Exit 117 in Benton.
Whitney Turner-Tyson, age 30, of Little Rock is now in the Saline County jail. She faces charges of Capital Murder and Endangering the Welfare of a Minor, each felonies. There is no bond.
Arkansas State Police is investigating but they have not yet released the child’s name.
ORIGINAL SEPT 15, 2020
UPDATE 09/15/2020 9:43PM:
Two apparently unrelated incidents over a five-hour period Tuesday claimed the lives of three children along two U.S. highways in Saline and Jackson Counties. Both are being investigated by Special Agents of the Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division (CID).
In Saline County, at 8:53 a.m. State Troopers responded to a call from a motorist. It was previously reported from a State Police news release that the motorist saw a young child dropped from a moving vehicle along the westbound lanes of Interstate 30 near the 117 mile marker in Benton. However, the person who called 911 this morning has contacted MySaline with a correction. There were two witnesses driving by, but they say they did not see the child being thrown from a car.
“The [State Police and major news agencies] are reporting that [we] saw a child being thrown from a moving vehicle. This is false. We found a child’s body (alive). No moving vehicle at all. We called 911 after we pulled over, got out of the truck, and confirmed that what we saw was a human baby and not a doll. While this child may have very well been thrown from a moving vehicle, we did NOT see this. We merely reported finding the child.”
The witness wishes to remain anonymous.
The child, believed to be approximately 2 years old, died after troopers were on the scene and awaiting emergency medical care to arrive. The child’s identity has not been released.
At 4:07 a.m. State Troopers of the Highway Patrol Division were dispatched to the 98 mile marker of U.S. Highway 67 south of the Jackson and Craighead County line where two children were found dead. The victims have been identified as Michael Rogers, III, age 10, and his sister, Princess Josh-Lyn Logan, age 3. The children were apparently struck by a southbound tractor-trailer commercial carrier driven by Gerald Sanders, 77. Sanders was not injured. Latoya Taylor, age 26, the mother of the children, was found at the fatality scene when state troopers arrived, but she was not physically injured.
CID special agents are questioning witnesses in each case. Agents have been in contact with prosecuting attorneys in both local jurisdictions and will submit criminal case files for consideration whether to file formal charges in the deaths. No arrests have been made in either case at this time.