Meghan McKeon: 22 Years for Death of Toddler Home Alone While She Spent Time With Bottle
A Facebook photo of Meghan McKeon. More images and a video below.
Earlier this year, we told you about the arrest of Meghan McKeon after the death of her three-year-old son, Austin Davis. Now she's been sentenced to more than two decades in stir for her actions, which included leaving the boy home alone for days while she was "spending time with a bottle." Photos, a video and the latest details below.
Back in April, when our previous post was published, McKeon's Facebook page was still online, and that remains true at this writing. The page features plenty of self-portraits like this one....
...as well as several shots of Austin, including this sweet image:
Also part of the gallery is this family portrait of McKeon, Austin and his dad, Tyler Davis:
Davis, though, is better known for this image:
Why was the last pic taken? The answers are provided by Steamboat Today, the newspaper that's done the best and most thorough coverage on related incidents to date.
This past summer, as we reported, Davis, who'd moved to Steamboat not long before, was arrested for allegedly going up to multiple underage teen girls and offering them money for sex. The Steamboat Springs Police Department said a photo of Davis taken by a girl approached on a city bus helped them track him down.
By the following March, Davis wasn't the only one in trouble with the law.
Another Facebook self-portrait of Meghan McKeon.
A March 28 Steamboat Today article cites McKeon's arrest affidavit, in which she's quoted as initially telling police that she left Austin with a babysitter at 1:45 p.m. the previous Wednesday, March 26, before heading to work at an area City Market.
At some point, though, her account changed. Instead of putting him in the care of a sitter, she reportedly acknowledged leaving him at home alone after putting out some food and starting a movie. She had supposedly done something similar at least twenty times in the past.
After her shift, McKeon is said to have spent the night at the home of an unnamed boyfriend before heading home the following morning to find Austin lying face up; his eyes were open but he was immobile and showing no signs of life.
McKeon responded by calling Davis, then in the Routt County Jail, before heading to a local medical center. Other relatives eventually called 911 on her behalf, but it was too late.
An autopsy showed that Austin died of dehydration -- and investigators later determined that he'd been on his own for three days, not just one. They added that McKeon's home, described as a cabin at a local campground, was in chaos upon their arrival, with human waste and partially eaten food tossed around and razors left in potential reach of a curious toddler.
Such evidence led the Routt County District Attorney's Office to accuse McKeon of three misdemeanors related to child abuse and reckless endangerment, and she was ready to plead guilty to them. But then, a switch: The charges were dismissed.
When the prosecutors made this move, Charity O'Konski, Davis's mom, reacted with anger, shouting, "She killed a baby." But McKeon wasn't set free. Instead, she was arrested again, this time on suspicion of child abuse resulting in death, a felony.
Yesterday, McKeon pleaded guilty to the latter allegation and was quickly sentenced to 22 years in prison. During the hearing, McKeon explained that she'd been "spending time with a bottle, chasing unattainable dreams" during the period when Austin was slowly dying, and she's filled with regrets. She now wants to start an organization to help women in similar circumstances.
Perhaps the kindest words for McKeon heard during the session came from Tyler Davis, speaking via video hookup from jail. He reportedly told her he hoped her experiences wouldn't scar her for life and signed off with the phrase, "Good luck with everything."
Here's a look at McKeon's mug shot, followed by a new report by CBS4.
Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.