The Denver District Attorney's Office has formally charged Muriel Keer with child abuse resulting in death after thedrowning of her ten-month-old son
The statement of probable cause in the case, on view below, provides even more details about the horrific incident.
As Westword's Melanie Asmar reported in the story linked above, Keer, 39, was romantically linked to Michael Leathers, a figure in Robert Walters murder case. Walters was found guilty of killing Brittney Brashers, his girlfriend, but not guilty of soliciting a hit on his wife, Elena. A former cellmate of Walters', Leathers told cops that Robert had asked him to kill Elena to prevent her from testifying against him in the Brashers-related trial, but he refused.
Leathers had troubles of his own. He'd been arrested in March 2010 after a parole officer found marijuana, meth, baggies, a scale and a handgun in his apartment -- a crime for which Keer was also arrested. For Leathers' cooperation in the Walters case, his sentence for the violation was reduced; he's currently serving the remainder of a two-year jolt. Keer, for her part, was given a four-year suspended sentence last October. But the following month, she failed a mandatory drug test. She told Asmar last year that the test had been faulty, but she was jailed anyhow, and gave birth to her baby, Aldrich Leathers, while in custody.
Despite Aldrich's surname, Keer subsequently claimed that Michael was not the child's dad. She didn't identify the actual father to Westword.
Flash-forward to September 20, less than a week after the split verdict in the Walters case. That's when Denver Police officers received a call about an unresponsive baby at a home on the 2700 block of East 33rd Avenue. Aldrich, then nine-months old, was rushed to Presbyterian St. Luke Medical Center, where he was declared dead.
What happened? According to Zachery Hopkins, he had been hanging out with his boyfriend, Carl Hopkins, in the basement room he rented in the house. They subsequently went upstairs to smoke a cigarette, spending about ten minutes outside. Then Hopkins went inside the house to relieve himself. He passed by Keer, who was sitting in the kitchen working on a computer, before entering the bathroom.
There, he was confronted by a gruesome sight. Aldrich was lying face up in the bathtub, but his head was under the water. Toys floated around him. Meanwhile, the water from the faucet was running, and the tub was overflowing.
None of this apparently registered with Keer. Hopkins is the person who removed Aldrich from the tub and called 911.
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After being arrested, Keer told a detective that while Aldrich had a diaper rash, he had not been abused. Now, however, that'll be for a jury to decide.
Look below to see a larger mug shot of Keer and the complete probable cause statement, which can also be accessed by clicking here.
More from our Colorado Crimes archives: "Robert Walters trial: Best friend of victim Brittney Brashers testifies about night she died."