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Baby-sitter's bond set at $100,000

Monday, December 23, 2002

- Deceased child's mother works in Brazil; defendant listens quietly to charge, pleads not guilty

GREENCASTLE, Ind. -- A $100,000 cash bond has been set in the case of a Greencastle woman facing charges of battery causing death of a 3-year-old girl in her care on Sunday.

Mindy Troxal, 21, appeared in Putnam Circuit Court on Thursday afternoon and asked for a court-appointed attorney to defend her against the charge that her actions led to the death of Kaitlene G. Byrd, a child she was baby-sitting on Dec. 11.

She faces a maximum of 50 years in prison if convicted of the charge.

The minimum sentence is 20 years.

Troxal has been accused of violently shaking Byrd while the child was in her home.

The child is the daughter of John and Melissa Byrd.

The mother is employed in Brazil, and was at her workplace when the babysitter called Dec. 11 to tell her the child was unconscious.

Doctors at Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis have told investigators the child was a victim of "shaken baby syndrome."

The action caused head trauma to the child, who died in the hospital on Dec. 15.

Troxal sat quietly in the courtroom while Judge Diana LaViolette read the charge against her and advised Troxal of her legal rights.

The babysitter also quietly answered that she has never before been in trouble with the law.

Prosecutor Matthew Headley noted the severity of the crime, and requested a $100,000 cash bond.

Troxal told the judge she has not been employed since 2000, and her husband works at F.B. Distro in Greencastle.

Judge LaViolette honored the $100,000 bond request, and appointed attorney James Record as Troxal's public defender. She also ordered a no-contact order between Troxal and the child's family, as well as to witnesses including doctors who examined the child.

A preliminary plea of not guilty was entered, and a pre-trial conference date was set for 11:30 a.m. Feb. 27, 2003.

Troxal was remanded to the custody of the Putnam County Jail.

Lisa Meyer Trigg is the Banner Graphic assistant editor.

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