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Woman faces capital-murder charge in child's death on I-30

by William Sanders | September 17, 2020 at 7:14 a.m.
A gavel and the scales of justice are shown in this photo.

BENTON -- Authorities in Saline County charged a Little Rock woman Wednesday with capital murder in the death of a child on Interstate 30 on Tuesday morning, according to jail authorities.

Saline County Sheriff's Office spokesman Wade Gilliam said Whitney Turner-Tyson, 30, was originally charged with felony first-degree battery and felony endangering the welfare of a minor, but Prosecutor Chris Walton upgraded the battery charge to murder on Wednesday.

The Arkansas State Police announced Tuesday the agency was investigating after troopers responded to a call from a motorist reporting a young child had been dropped from a vehicle while traveling west on I-30 just before 9 a.m.

The child, who authorities said was about 2 years old, died from injuries while waiting for emergency medical care, a news release said.

The state police made the arrest just after 10:30 p.m. Tuesday and took Turner-Tyson to the Saline County jail, where she was held in lieu of bond, according to the jail's website.

State police spokesman Bill Sadler said Wednesday evening there was secondhand information about the arrest and charges, but the agency had not been contacted directly by the prosecuting attorney on the matter.

No more information on the incident could be released until confirmed with the prosecuting attorney, according to Sadler.

Walton could not be reached for comment after multiple attempts.

In an unrelated incident Tuesday in which two children were killed on U.S. 67 just south of the Craighead County line in Jackson County, Sadler said no arrests had been made.

Michael Rogers, 10, and Princess Logan, 3, were fatally struck by a tractor-trailer, according to an agency news release Tuesday. The driver of the truck, 77-year-old Gerald Sanders, and the children's mother, 26-year-old Latoya Taylor, were uninjured.

Taylor's last known address was in Marion, Sadler said Wednesday.

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