Judge Denies $250,000 Bond Reduction For Woman Accused Of Burning, Smothering Child
Natrona County District Court Judge Catherine Wilking on Thursday refused to reduce the $250,000 bond set for Stephanie Shirts after she violated her probation.
Shirts was arrested in September after police were called to the Wyoming Medical Center for a report of a child with a significant head injury who was unresponsive, had hematomas in the head, and burns to the left rear area of the head.
The investigation determined that the child's mother, Bobbi Humphreys, left the child in Shirts' care while Humphreys went shopping. While changing the baby's diaper, Shirts put a blanket over the baby, whose face turned blue.
When Humphreys returned to the house owned by Shirts' boyfriend, Jason Cathcart, she saw the baby's condition and took him to the hospital.
Shirts was charged with one count of aggravated child abuse punishable by up to 25 years in prison, four counts of child abuse with each count punishable by up to five years in prison, and four counts of child endangerment with methamphetamine, with each count punishable by up to five years in prison.
Her bond was set at $100,000.
She and Cathcart posted bond.
A few weeks later, they were arrested for shoplifting at the east side Walmart.
Shirts' bond was reset to $250,000.
During the bond revocation hearing Thursday, Shirts' defense attorney Kurt Infanger asked Wilking to reduce the bond to its original $100,000, adding that Shirts had a friend she could live with.
Infanger also asked Wilking to allow Shirts to have contact with her biological children.
But Assistant District Attorney Mike Schafer strongly objected, saying Shirts faces nine felony counts including aggravated child abuse.
She lied repeatedly to police when she was arrested for shoplifting because some of the items found in her car were not for basic survival and other items had been stolen from the west side Walmart, Schafer said.
Shirts also violated the "no contact with other defendants" term of her probation by being with Cathcart, he said.
And there's no assurance she would stay away from methamphetamine if she bonds out again, Schafer said.
Wilking agreed with Schafer, adding that the court revoked Shirts' $100,000 bond, it didn't ask that it be forfeited.
However, the judge agreed to allow Shirts have limited, supervised contact with her biological children.
The bond remains at $250,000.
Her trial is set for Jan. 12.