Crime & Courts

Wellington mother found fit to stand trial in son’s murder

This is the house in Wellington where a 10-year-old boy was found dead Sunday night. The mother, Lindsey Nicole Blansett, has been charged with first-degree murder after allegedly hitting him with a rock and stabbing him multiple times while he was sleeping.
This is the house in Wellington where a 10-year-old boy was found dead Sunday night. The mother, Lindsey Nicole Blansett, has been charged with first-degree murder after allegedly hitting him with a rock and stabbing him multiple times while he was sleeping. Wichita

A Wellington mother accusing of stabbing her 10-year-old son to death in his bed has been deemed fit to stand trial on murder and aggravated assault charges.

Sumner County District Court Judge R. Scott McQuin last week ruled that Lindsey Nicole Blansett understood the nature of her charges and could assist in her defense. The judge made the ruling after hearing testimony from the Larned State Hospital psychologist who completed Blansett’s competency exam in early April. Sumner County Attorney Kerwin Spencer said Thursday that the judge signed off on the court papers that document that decision.

Blansett – who goes by Nicole – on Thursday also waived her right to a preliminary hearing, a proceeding at which a judge hears testimony, then determines whether there is enough evidence is try the defendant on the crimes charged. She is charged with first-degree premeditated murder in the stabbing death of her son, Caleb, at their Wellington home shortly before midnight on Dec. 14.

Spencer said Thursday that he has filed an additional charge, aggravated assault, against the 33-year-old divorced mother of two. The count alleges Caleb was aware he was in danger before the attack, he said.

A woman who answered the phone at the law office of Blansett’s attorney, Mike Brown, early Thursday evening said he did not wish to comment.

Blansett is next due in court at 1:30 p.m. May 28 for a hearing called an arraignment, where she will plead guilty or not guilty to the charges.

If she denies the allegations, she will be bound over for a jury trial, Spencer said.

The Eagle reported in December that Blansett called 911 after the fatal attack on Caleb, saying she had stabbed her son in the chest several times because she “thought someone was coming in.”

In a recording of the 911 call, Blansett, while on hold with the dispatcher, could be heard saying: “Because I thought I was saving him from the pain that was coming.” The criminal charging document says Blansett decided to kill Caleb because his “life would be full of suffering and it would be better for him to go to heaven tonight.”

Neighbors interviewed by The Eagle after the killing described Blansett as a loving mom whose children “were her everything.” The Department for Children and Families, meanwhile, had received reports about the family, including a non-abuse neglect report five days before Caleb died.

Blansett’s competency hearing had been scheduled to take place Thursday, but Spencer said the psychologist set to testify “was on vacation for today and asked for it to be moved up one week or delayed two weeks.”

The hearing was held May 7.

Spencer had told reporters who attended an April 23 hearing for Blansett that her competency hearing would be closed to the public.

If convicted, Blansett will be eligible for a Hard 50 prison sentence, which means she would have to serve 50 years before having the chance to ask for parole for the first time, Spencer said Thursday.

Blansett’s attorney would have the option to argue for a life prison sentence that would allow her parole eligibility after 25 years, he said.

Reach Amy Renee Leiker at 316-268-6644 or aleiker@wichitaeagle.com. Follow her on Twitter: @amyreneeleiker.

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