Kelsie Thomas, 24, stands trial in the 2018 death of her daughter Cloe Chandler, 5. The defendant faces a count each of first-degree murder, and child endangerment resulting in death. She would get a mandatory life sentence if convicted of the more severe charge. Court is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. CT / 10 a.m. ET.
Thomas killed the girl by strangling her to death on July 19, 2018, prosecutors said. She allegedly tried to pass this off as an accident before confessing to murder. According to investigators, she said that Cloe was attempting to make a swing in a closet with pajama pants but the victim hung herself by mistake.
Authorities said they had gotten a tip from the defendant’s cousin that Thomas didn’t tell close relatives that Cloe had died until they asked her about the girl’s death, according to KTVO.
NEW TRIAL – IA v. Kelsie Thomas. Thomas is charged with the strangulation murder of her 5-year-old daughter Cloe. Prosecutors say Thomas strangled Cloe with pajama pants. Defense says Cloe accidentally hung herself with pajama pants in the closet. Jury selection today. pic.twitter.com/FkL95wh401
— Law & Crime Network (@LawCrimeNetwork) March 3, 2020
Cloe’s death was ruled a homicide after it was determined she died from ligature strangulation. Investigator Michael Sieren suggested that the pajama pants couldn’t have supported the girl’s weight if tied the way they were supposedly tied to a wooden dowel.
Cloe’s obituary reportedly stated that she had graduated from pre-school the previous May. She “loved riding her bike, sticker books, sunflowers and everything purple,” according to KWQC.
[Mugshot via Wapello County Jail]