Archive for Thursday, August 9, 2007

Leavenworth resident charged in son’s murder

August 9, 2007

A Leavenworth man charged with killing his 2-year-old son made his second court appearance Wednesday at the Leavenworth County Justice Center, where District Judge Frederick Stewart set a preliminary court date for the suspect, Robert Vroman, for Aug. 17 at 1 p.m.

Vroman, 22, was arrested Friday evening in the death of his son Devin Trapp, Maj. Pat Kitchens, deputy director of the Leavenworth Police Department said Tuesday.

Kitchens said that Leavenworth paramedics responded to a report of a child falling around 8 p.m. Thursday at the 200 block of Kiowa Street. When they arrived, they found Trapp unconscious and transported him to a Cushing Hospital.

Trapp was later taken by Life Flight helicopter to Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Mo., where he was pronounced dead Saturday, Kitchens said.

Preliminary autopsy results indicated that severe head trauma was the cause of death, Kitchens said, adding, as reason for the arrest, "The primary evidence was that the injuries were simply not consistent with the description of how they occurred."

Following an interrogation with Vroman on Friday, police switched the case to a murder investigation and detained the suspect.

Vroman, who had shared custody of the toddler and his 1-year-old sister with the children's mother, was in possession of the children Thursday when the incident occurred.

Vroman's grandmother, Betty Siard, who made the initial call to police, said Vroman was the only one at home with the children at the time of the incident.

"He tried calling their mother and then called me and said, 'Devin's not breathing,'" Siard said Wednesday.

According to Kitchens, Trapp's younger sister, Raya, was placed in police protective custody before being left to the care of other relatives.

Siard said that Raya is currently in state custody.

Vroman now faces first-degree murder charges that were filed against him for the commission of child abuse Monday, Leavenworth County Attorney's Office spokeswoman Deborah Owens said.

Wednesday was Vroman's first chance to appear with a court-appointed attorney, which Owens said he requested.

The attorney, Kevin Reardon, petitioned Judge Frederick Stewart for an adequate amount of time before the preliminary hearing so that the defense could gather results from Children's Mercy.

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