A 25-year-old Onawa woman faces a possible 55-year prison sentence after being found guilty in the 2012 bathtub death of her 15-month-old son.
Monona County District Court Judge Jeffrey Neary found Ashley Cameron, 25, guilty of involuntary manslaughter and child endangerment resulting in death in the Feb. 11, 2012, drowning of toddler Markis Dahms.
Neary’s decision was released Friday morning. Cameron had chosen before trial to have a judge decide her guilt rather than a jury.
The drowning occurred while Cameron was giving Markis and his 2½-year-old sister a bath.
According to Neary’s ruling, Markis vomited in the tub and Cameron put his face under a running cold water spigot to rinse it off. She then left them unattended. When she returned, she found Markis face-down. She performed CPR before calling 911.
Markis was taken to the Burgess Health Center in Onawa, where he was pronounced dead.
Authorities charged her with first-degree murder and child endangerment. In his decision, Neary said there was not enough evidence to prove Cameron guilty of the murder charge but enough to prove her guilty of involuntary manslaughter.
Sentencing is set for June 28. Cameron faces up to five years for the involuntary manslaughter charge and 50 years for the child endangerment charge because it resulted in death.
“We are going to be asking that the sentences run back to back or consecutive for 55 years total,” said Ian McConeghey, assistant Monona County attorney.
Cameron’s attorney, Mike Williams, was out of the office Friday and unavailable.
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