Judge drops one charge against Anniston woman in infant death case

Katherine Papke

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) – One of two charges has been dropped against the mother of a 4-month-old boy who died after being left inside of a car on Friday.

A judge in Calhoun County made a decision the drop one charge of leaving a child under the age of seven against Katherine Papke.

According to Papke’s attorney, Jim Sturdivant, the defendant filed the motion to have the charge dropped under the notion that the charge does not apply to this particular case.

Papke still faces a charge of manslaughter. She was taken into custody over the weekend on two charges and bonded out.

Sturdivant said Papke had recently returned from maternity leave.

He says Friday was also the first day of school in the area, and after dropping off her other children at their respective schools, Papke went to work.

Papke, is a sergeant first class in the U.S. Army and has served two tours in Afghanistan, believed she had dropped her child off at the daycare.

“As a single mother, as a soldier, she has a lot on her and what this situation is, is a case of someone who has a lot on them and they make a horrible mistake,” Sturdivant said of Papke.

Sturdivant says Papke returned to the van on her lunch break and called 911.

The Calhoun County Coroner confirmed the baby’s death is related to heat exposure.

The full report from the coroner has not yet been released.

“It doesn’t matter if you have children hurt or not, it’s awful to have children hurt in any way, shape or form,” Sparks added. “Our job is to separate ourselves from the situation and work the case just like any person.”

Copyright 2013 WIAT-TV CBS 42

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