Polk County mother enters guilty plea in death of son

Published: May. 9, 2018 at 12:13 PM CDT
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With plenty of emotion and tears, a Polk County mother pleaded guilty in the death of her son.

Kimberly Lightwine entered the plea in a Benton County courtroom. She pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and elder abuse in the death of her son, Austin Anderson, 19. The judge accepted the plea agreement.

The plea agreement says she will serve 120 days in a Missouri Department of Corrections treatment program. If she is successful, she could be released. She then would be on supervised probation for five years. Because of a recent jaw surgery and infection, the defense asked Lightwine's sentencing be postponed to allow for treatment.

She had faced second-degree murder for her son's death.

Polk County Investigators arrested Kimberly Lightwine in August 2016 after they found her lying naked on a Morrisville farm next to the body of her son Austin. An autopsy revealed Austin died from dehydration and not receiving the vital medicine he needed. In an interview with a Polk County detective, Kimberly Lightwine admitted to using meth. She told an officer, "I killed my kid."

Lightwine's attorney released portions of that interview. It shows her screaming in pain from a broken leg. The attorney argued Lightwine did not have the capacity to waive her right to counsel or to remain silent. He says he still hasn't been able to see Lightwine's phone. Supporters believe Lightwine is not responsible for her son's death.

A judge scheduled sentencing for June 29.