Ashley Cameron Denies Killing Her Baby
(ONAWA, IA) Testimony has wrapped up in the murder trial of Ashley Cameron.
The 25-year-old Onawa, Iowa mother accused of drowning her 15-month-old baby will soon know her fate.
It was an emotional day in court, Ashley Cameron took the stand in her won defense to make it clear to everyone she did not kill Markis Dahms.
Emergency Operator: "911"
Ashley: "I need the emergency right now, my son is not breathing. He was in the bathtub and he's not breathing."
Emergency Operator: "Ok where at?"
Ashley: Oh please help me.
Emergency Operator: "O. K. you've got to calm down, where at?"
On the stand, Ashley listened to the 911 call she made the night her son died.
Emergency Operator: "O. K you've got to calm down honey I can't understand you."
Ashley: He's not breathing right now.
Emergency Operator: "I can't understand you."
It took Ashley more than 30 seconds to calm down and give the dispatcher her address.
When she took the stand today, she told the judge the timeline of events that led up to the frantic call.
Markis had thrown up minutes before she was going to put him and his sister Abigail into the tub for a bath. So she wiped his mouth off with a towel and put him into the bathtub.
"I had forgotten the kids had clothes that I had not gotten for them and I decided to go back into the other room and I was getting clothes and all I remember is hearing kids playing, I didn't hear anything else. I remember all of sudden hearing Abigail shouting," says Cameron.
When she came back, she says there was vomit in the bathtub and Markis was face down in the water.
Prosecution:"At any point did you hold Markis's head under the spigot like we've heard testimony about, to rinse his mouth out?"
But that's not what she told several friends, family members, police and DHS workers.
"I felt that if I told them I left the room that my family would, I was more concerned with how my family felt that anybody else. I was afraid of what my family would think of me. I thought they would hate me, because I left my son in that bathroom alone," says Cameron.
In its closing argument the prosecution told the judge we may never know what really happened inside that bathroom the night Markis died. But the only way he could have had more than two cups of water in his body was if Ashley had held his face under a faucet like she told and even showed others.
"Markis would not let something happen to him, like this just passively. Common sense tells us that Markis was turning his head away from the running water," says Ian McConeghey, Monona County Attorney. "Common sense that Mark was kicking and thrashing and fighting to everything he could to save his life. Everything within his power. He lost that fight."
Ashley Cameron decided to let the judge, not a jury, decide the case. Her lawyers will submit their closing arguments in writing and the prosecution will be given time for a rebuttal. Then both sides will make arguments about whether the judge should consider lesser charges than first degree murder. It could be several weeks after that before the judge announces his verdict.