Mother accused of killing daughter after driving into river pleads not guilty

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LAWRENCE, Kan. (WIBW) -- A Missouri woman pleaded not guilty on Monday to charges in the slaying of one of her small children and attempted murder of a second child when the mother allegedly drove her car including the two children into the Kansas River just north of downtown Lawrence in August.

Scharron R. Dingledine, 26, of Columbia, Mo., is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Amiyah Bradley, her 5-year-old daughter, and attempted first-degree murder of her son, Elijah Lake, 1.

Dingledine next will appear in Douglas County District Court on Dec. 17, District Court Chief Judge Peggy Carr Kittle said.

Douglas County District Attorney Charles Branson, the prosecutor, and defense attorney Carol Kline said each had exchanged unspecified types of records with the other side. Branson did say the prosecution had provided records from Lawrence Memorial Hospital to Dingledine's attorney.

A trial date for Dingledine wasn't scheduled on Monday.

In an earlier hearing, Dingledine waived her right to have a preliminary hearing before a judge in which a prosecutor presents evidence and the defendant has the right to cross-examine the prosecution witnesses, according to Kansas statute.

If the evidence indicates probable cause that the defendant committed the offense, she is bound over to be tried. Otherwise, the judge will release the defendant.

Cline is a Lawrence attorney who was appointed to represent Dingledine.

The hearing on Monday lasted less than five minutes.

At 1:15 p.m. Aug. 3, rescuers were sent to the Kansas River in Lawrence after a car was reported to be in the river just west of the bridge linking downtown Lawrence and North Lawrence.

The 1-year-old survived, but the body of the 5-year-old was recovered from the river the next morning.

On Aug. 28 during a video conference, the judge found that Dingledine was competent to proceed with the case.