Mom accused of killing baby claims she was forced to confess

Charis Patires

The public defender representing the 24-year-old Iberia woman accused of murdering her 7-month-old infant says she is innocent and was coerced into providing statements to authorities.

In a prepared statement after a court appearance Wednesday, Keith Halcomb, the attorney for Christina L. White, said his client suffers from severe psychological problems and maintains that she is innocent of all charges. 

“Ms. White maintains that the police lied and made false promises to her ... stating that she could go home if she just told the police what they wanted to hear,” he said.

Halcomb also said on two occasions prior to her incarceration, White had been involuntarily admitted for psychiatric treatment. He did not say if White was hospitalized in Illinois, where she lived prior to moving to Missouri earlier this year. 

White appeared with her attorney and waived her right to a preliminary hearing before Associate Circuit Judge Kenneth Oswald in a Miller County courtroom.

White has been charged with first-degree murder, three counts of child endangerment and arson in connection with allegations of setting her son on fire resulting in his death. White’s bond has been set at $500,000.

Wayne E. Anderson Jr. died July 31, nearly three weeks after White allegedly set his blanket on fire while they were staying at her sister’s home in Iberia.

Miller County Prosecutor Matt Howard said he was ready to move forward with the preliminary hearing, but once White decided to waive the preliminary hearing, the case was automatically sent to the circuit court.

When asked to comment on claims that White may have been coerced into making statements to authorities, Howard said he had not received any specific information regarding the allegations.

Howard also stated that to his knowledge, no plans have been made to have White undergo a psychological evaluation.

White’s next court date is scheduled in October.

Lake Sun Leader

Contact this reporter at charisp@lakesunleader.com.