Woman accused of son's death in Polk County appears in court
Investigators say Kimberly Lightwine got high on meth and caused the death of her son with special needs. Her supporters believe she's a victim herself.
Lightwine faces second-degree murder and abuse charges for the death of her son, Austin Anderson, 19, last August. She appeared in court on Monday morning for a judge to hear some motions in her pending case.
Investigators say Austin died of dehydration and not receiving vital medication. His body was found lying in a field in Polk County near Morrisville, several feet from his injured mother. They'd been reported missing for two days.
A detective's probable cause statement used as the basis of the charges says, in an interview right after they were found, Lightwine told an officer, "I killed my kid." The officer said Lightwine claimed she had gotten high on meth, and investigators did find evidence of meth in a hotel room where they'd been staying.
Lightwine's attorney, Jason Coatney, says he believes she was kidnapped by three people who drugged her and beat her, leaving her and her son in the field. She had a broken jaw and broken knee, which required surgery. He also believes she may have been sexually assaulted, but says no rape test was done because she was quickly sent to a hospital's intensive care unit.
Coatney says they're still waiting on her cell phone records that should tell them a lot about the time that Lightwine and her son were missing.
She's been out on bond since mid-October. On Monday, the judge heard her request to stay at her mother's home instead of her sister's home while remaining on GPS tracking. Her attorney also asked that Lightwine's vehicle, which was searched for evidence, be returned to her, and that the state pay the towing and storage bill of more than $4,000. The judge will take that issue under advisement.
A large group of supporters accompanied Lightwine in court, but none agreed to speak to a reporter.
The defense plans to ask for a change of venue, but opted to take up that argument at Lightwine's next court appearance, April 3.