Posted by Phoenix Homicide Attorney Nick Alcock:
The mother of the 4-year-old girl who died as the result of alleged child abuse pleaded not guilty in court Tuesday morning.
Both Ashley Buckman and her live-in boyfriend, James Edwards, were in court Tuesday morning facing a variety of charges, including murder and child abuse, in the wake of Toryn Buckman’s death. Edwards also entered a plea of not guilty.
The little girl was hospitalized on May 30 after paramedics were called to her home because she wasn’t breathing. By the time the fire department arrived, they immediately recognized that she was not only not breathing, but also the victim of child abuse. Police officers arrested Buckman and Edwards at the scene. Sadly, Toryn died the next day.
Police believed little Toryn was the victim of ongoing abuse based on both comments Buckman and Edwards made to detectives when they were interviewed and the injuries to the girl doctors observed. They say Buckman, 22, beat her little daughter on multiple occasions, the last of which allegedly happened two days before her death. They also believe Edwards, also 22, intentionally scalded her with hot water in the bathtub.
But the alleged abuse did not end there.
“There were injuries basically head to foot,” Thompson said. Toryn had a number of abrasions and bruises, as well as whip marks made by a clothes hanger and apparent scald marks on her lower body. Detectives are calling this one of the most egregious instances of child abuse they have ever seen. “These are detectives who have 25 years of experience with the department, have been working homicide for a long time” Thompson said.
While Edwards was not Toryn’s father, he and Buckman have a 1-year-old child together. That child is now in the custody of Child Protective Services. Thompson said there did not appear to be any abuse involving the 1-year-old.
Although a judge set bond for Buckman and Edwards at their initial court appearances earlier this month, both remain in jail. She is being held at Estrella Jail while he remains in custody at Lower Buckeye Jail.
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