BOISE -- The woman accused of murdering two-year-old Wyatt Fesler last December appeared in court Wednesday to face the charges against her. The family of 57-year-old Katherine Stanfield, as well as the boy's father, all believe she is innocent.
Bob Stanfield, Katherine s husband told KTVB that Wyatt called his wife grandma. He says Katherine loved Wyatt and that a medical condition,not a violent act, is what took the young boy's life.
Katherine Stanfield's first appearance inan Ada County courtroomwas short as she faced the charge of first degree murder.
The defendant, Katherine Lea Stanfield, on or about December 11, 2009, did, unlawfully kill with malice and forethought, murder Wyatt Fesler, a human being, said Judge Richard Schmidt.
Prosecutors believe Stanfield committed a violent crime, giving the boy a fatal brain injury that killed him. But Bob Stanfield says that isn't what happened nine months ago. Bob says Wyatt had a medical condition.
Ever since my daughter met him, he's always been, he'd hold his breath and pass out. I don't know if he was actually holding his breath or losing his breath, said Bob Stanfield.
Wyatt is the son of Lance Fesler who is engaged to Stacie Duvall, the Stanfields' daughter.
Does Lance blame your wife? asked NewsChannel 7.
No. Hedoes not. He's sticking with the family, said Bob Stanfield.
Onthe day the accident happened Bob says his wife took Wyatt's coat off then his wife told him that she, started to step up in here, and heard a thump, turned around and he was lying down.
Bob said his wife had two other grandchildren in the home when Wyatt collapsed. She called 911. A short time later firefighters and paramedics arrived, taking Wyatt to St. Luke's in Boise where he died two days later.
Is your wife capable of something like this? asked NewsChannel 7.
No, she loves kids. In fact, she wouldn't even correct them, said Bob Stanfield.
But the Ada County coroner says Wyatt died of blunt force trauma.
We couldn't see [any] marks when we were down at the hospital, there was no marks on his head like he had fallen, hit his head or nothing, said Bob Stanfield. No blood, no nothing.
In January 2010, six weeks after the accident investigators returned to the Stanfield's home and took a portion of tile, carpet and a cabinet as evidence.
Is your wife guilty of first degree murder? askedNewsChannel 7.
Without hesitation, Bob said, No, she's not guilty of anything.
A Decade of Hardships
Bob Stanfield says his wife's murder charge is the latest difficulty in a decade of family hardship. In 2004, the Stanfields' oldest son Jeremy died after he fell off a 240-foot cliff in California. Then, in 2007, Ada County Sheriff's deputies shot and killed their daughter Sarah Stanfield after she pointed a gun at deputies following a chase from Boise to the Oregon border.
With the past difficulties still in their minds, Bob says his family now hopes for the best with this new and unexpected murder charge.
Katherine will appear in court again on Sept. 28 at 9 a.m.