Jury recommends 35 years for Lou. mom convicted in son's hot car death


by Claudia Coffey


Posted on August 7, 2012 at 2:47 PM

Updated Wednesday, Sep 26 at 5:33 AM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- A jury of six men and six women has recommended a 35-year sentence for Mollie Shouse, the Louisville woman found guilty of murder, for the death of her 2-year-old son Kenton Brown.

Shouse was found guilty today in what prosecutors call a historic decision, after her 2-year-old boy was found dead in a car outside her Lyndon apartment complex in May of 2011.

It didn't take jurors long to find Shouse guilty of murder.

The prosecution argued that she showed a conscious disregard for his well being which led to his death and the jury agreed. We spoke to one juror about how he came to that decision and how regretful Shouse appeared.

"I have my concerns about that. I know she has lost a child, but oh my god. I didn’t see much in the way of remorse," a juror, Steve Jones, said. 

Jurors also found Mollie Shouse guilty of wanton endangerment, criminal abuse, and possession of a controlled substance.  Shouse did not react to the verdict. She was often emotional during the trial and broke down on the stand. She says she intended to return to get her child out of the car but passed out after taking Zanax. She claimed that it was accident; a point that both Shouse and her attorney argued.

"She is not this selfish, cold calculated monster that they are going to make her out to be. Molly is human and made a terribly terrible mistake." Pattie Echsner, Shouse's attorney. 

Assistant  Commonwealth's Attorney Erin McKenzie pointed to the many conflicting stories Shouse told, the amount of Zanax she took that day and how this wasn't a simple change in routine that led to his death.

"This was not a situation where a parent breaks their routine  or a babysitter that thinks it's OK to run inside for a minute. This was flagrant. It was unconscionably indifferent, " Mckenzie said.

There was another high profile case recently when a Louisville man was not indicted by a grand jury. Michael Lindsay went to work in June and forgot to take the baby to day care . The 8-month-old was in his vehicle and died. A grand jury did not indict him in that case, Prosecutor Erin Dwight says this case was different. 

"This is one where the jury found that she had been doing drugs. Taking her child out  in the night for a drug deal,” says Prosecutor  Erin Dwight.

Shouse, who will be eligible for parole in 20 years, will be formally sentenced in September.