Megan Boswell, 18, was arraigned in Sullivan County, Tennessee on Friday, just over a week after she was charged with murder in the death of her 15-month-old daughter Evelyn Mae Boswell. The defendant entered a not guilty plea.
The murder case against Boswell was months in the making, but the prosecution revealed on Friday that it still hasn’t decided whether to pursue enhanced charges against the defendant. Such enhancements would mean Boswell could face a sentence of life without parole or the death penalty.
Boswell appeared in court via Zoom in a holding area at the Sullivan County Jail, where she has been held since she was charged for allegedly filing false reports. Judge Jim Goodwin presided over the hearing.
The judge noted that two motions have been filed on behalf of the defense: a motion for a bill of particulars and a motion for change of venue. A bill of particulars would specify the prosecution’s allegations against Boswell. The change of venue motion, given the nature of the allegations in this case, likely has to do with ensuring Boswell receives a fair trial—in a county where Boswell does not live.
Judge Goodwin set Boswell’s next court date for 1 p.m. on Dec. 3.
“Thank you, your honor,” Boswell could be heard saying before she was escorted out of the holding area of the jail. These were the only words she said.
Evelyn Mae Boswell was found dead in March 2020. A grand jury indicted Megan Boswell on numerous charges on Aug. 19, including two counts of felony murder. Sullivan County District Attorney General Barry Staubus announced that Boswell faced 19 counts in total.
In May, investigators said publicly that there was a person of interest in the death of the baby girl. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) said the infant was considered a missing person last Feb. 18. She was last seen back on December 26, 2019. Megan Boswell was initially arrested for allegedly filing a false report in the case. The victim was found dead in early March on property belonging to her maternal grandfather Tommy Boswell Sr.
“You’re all vultures,” he told Knox News in a report, back before the discovery of the body. After Evelyn was found, he and most of the family expressed gratitude for the public support Evelyn has received, but they specifically excluded the man’s ex-wife Angela Boswell.
“The immediate Boswell family (excluding Angela Jones Boswell) of Evelyn are in anguish and grief over their loss,” the statement said. “It has been a very rough and trying time for everyone. At this time they do not want to speak publicly in regards to the tragedy. They are still trying to process what has happened. They ask for media and the public to respect their wishes. They need more time to grieve, privately.”
Authorities said that, after months of investigation, they discovered that Boswell killed Evelyn and “disposed” of Evelyn’s body.
According to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, “[a]t the request of 2nd District Attorney General Barry Staubus, TBI Agents continued to work alongside the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office to investigate the circumstances leading to Evelyn’s death.”
“During the course of the investigation, it was determined that Megan Boswell killed Evelyn and disposed of her body,” the TBI said.
Boswell faces “two counts of Felony Murder, one count of Aggravated Child Abuse, one count of Aggravated Child Neglect, one count of Tampering with Evidence, one count of Abuse of a Corpse, one count of Failure to Report a Death Under Suspicious, Unusual, or Unnatural Circumstances, and twelve counts of False Reports.”
Sullivan County Sheriff Jeff Cassidy said that Boswell is the “sole suspect in this case.”
“We are determined to make sure that justice is served for baby Evelyn,” the sheriff said.
Alberto Luperon contributed to this report.
[Image via Tennessee Bureau of Investigation]
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