Attorneys on both sides say they are working on a resolution for a murder case in which an Oak Grove couple is accused of beating their infant nephew to death.
A Fort Campbell soldier and his wife, Christopher and Joni Leutwyler, both 29, are scheduled to go on trial Monday. They stand accused of murder and first-degree criminal abuse in the 2012 death of their 9-month-old nephew, Jack Stark.
Feeling he’s gotten a bad rap, Christopher Leutwyler contacted a New Era employee on Thursday and said that his charges were being dropped. After a request for a formal interview, however, he was cautioned by his attorney to avoid talking about the case publicly until it is resolved.
Commonwealth’s Assistant Attorney Ramsey Groves and Christopher Leutwyler’s attorney, Jason Pfiel, both confirmed they are working on a resolution but were reluctant to talk about any of the details or how it could affect the case ahead of the trial.
“If Chris wants to talk about the case after trial,” Pfiel said, “then that’s his decision.”
According to the police report and court records, the Leutwyler’s were babysitting Stark while his parents were visiting relatives in Texas.
The boy was unconscious when he was taken to Blanchfield Army Community Hospital at Fort Campbell. Joni Leutwyler reportedly said he had hit his head on a coffee table in her home.
The boy was later flown to Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville where he died of his injuries.
Police claim Misty Stark, the boy’s mother, received pictures of her son via cellphone from Joni Leutwyler days before his death, and the photos show no visible marks or bruises on the boy.
Dr. Debra Lowen, a forensic pediatrician, determined the boy’s injuries were “no more than 24 to 36 hours old” and that he had been physically abused. Stark’s injuries were considered so severe by Lowen that they could “in no way result from a fall into a coffee table or a fall off a bed or couch or being dropped by an adult.”
The Leutwylers’ trial is set for Monday in Christian Circuit Court.
Reach Steve Breen at 270-887-3240 or email@example.com.