Guilty verdict in burned toddler trial

Donald Riddle. Photo courtesy: Grant County Sheriff's Department
Donald Riddle. Photo courtesy: Grant County Sheriff's Department

MARION, Ind. (WANE)  A Grant County jury reached a verdict late Wednesday in the trial of man who had been taking care of a two-year-old girl who was found dead in her crib and covered in burns.

Donald Riddle was found guilty on felony charges of Neglect of a Dependent Resulting in Death, Possession of Scheduled Controlled Substances and Possession of Marijuana. He will be sentenced on May 12.

Mug shot of Wanetta Lloyd courtesy the Grant County Sheriff's Department.
Mug shot of Wanetta Lloyd courtesy the Grant County Sheriff’s Department.

The mother of the toddler is also facing charges. Wanetta Lloyd is charged with neglect of a dependent resulting in death, maintaining a common nuisance and dealing marijuana, all of which are felonies. Her trial will start in September.

Lloyd found her daughter, Arianna Carmack,  dead in a crib on February 13, 2014.  The girl had burns on her face and all over her torso.

Lloyd told police that Riddle, a friend of hers, lived with her at the Maplewood Village mobile home park in Marion and was the caregiver for her four children when she was at work.

Lloyd told investigators that she arrived home from work at about 2 a.m. on February 13, changed her clothes and then left the home and didn’t return until about 5:30 a.m.

The details of a court transcript further indicate that Lloyd  then went to bed and didn’t get up until early afternoon.  Lloyd then left again to meet her “lover” and then returned home to eat dinner.  She then took a shower with the intention of going to see the “lover” again.  It wasn’t until after 9 p.m. that Lloyd went to check on Arianna.  She told investigators that Riddle had assured her several times that the little girl was sleeping.

Lloyd told Riddle to call 911 after seeing Arianna’s condition.  Riddle held a phone to his ear as if we was calling, however phone records indicate he never did.

Lloyd went to a neighbor’s home for help and a boyfriend there called 911.

Riddle fled shortly after being asked to call 911 and was later captured in Sweetster, Indiana.

Riddle told investigators that during this whole time he never checked on Arianna.

Investigators believe her shirt had caught fire and caused flash burns and for some reason the shirt was not taken off.  She might have lived if that had not been the case according to medical experts.

The experts also testified that Arianna would have been in great pain and would have also been in great distress.

They believe she could have lived if the burns had been given medical treatment.

On March 31, charges of Neglect of a Dependent Resulting in Death, Maintaining a Common Nuisance and Dealing Marijuana were filed against Wanetta Lloyd.  Her trial has been set for September 23, 2014.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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