A mother who called 911 to report that she had stabbed her 10-year-old son said between sobs: “I’m never going to get out of jail. Never.”
In an apparent attempt to explain the stabbing, Lindsey Nicole Blansett also said during the recorded call: “I thought I was saving him from the pain that was coming.”
Blansett, 33, has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of her son, Caleb. She appeared in court Thursday for a scheduling hearing at the Sumner County Courthouse, hands cuffed in front of her and wearing an orange jail jumpsuit.
Judge William Mott granted court-appointed defense attorney Mike Brown’s request to set Blansett’s next court date for 1:30 p.m. Jan. 8, to give him more time to prepare.
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At that time, Brown is expected to request a preliminary hearing or an evaluation of Blansett’s competency to stand trial.
Also Thursday, the Kansas Department for Children and Families confirmed that it had received a report of non-abuse neglect with regard to the family on Dec. 9 – five days before Blansett allegedly killed her son Sunday night at their home.
The DCF said those allegations were not against the mother but that the report warranted further investigation. The agency said it had received two other reports on the family, including one in May regarding medical neglect that was not substantiated.
‘Oh God, why?’
The criminal complaint said that Blansett went into Caleb’s bedroom shortly before midnight Sunday, struck him with a rock and “stabbed him with a knife multiple times until he was dead.”
Blansett, who goes by Nicole, called 911 and told the dispatcher, “Hi, this is Nicole Blansett. I just stabbed my son.”
Dispatcher: “I’m sorry?”
“I just stabbed my son,” she repeated. “I thought someone was coming in to get us.”
Moments later she again told the dispatcher that she had stabbed Caleb in the chest several times and said, “I thought someone was coming in.”
While the dispatcher briefly put Blansett on hold, she could be heard saying in a very loud voice, “Because I thought I was saving him from the pain that was coming.”
The criminal complaint said Blansett had decided that Caleb’s “life would be full of suffering and it would be better for him to go to heaven tonight.”
Some of her neighbors had said the unemployed single mother was despondent about not having enough money to pay bills or provide Christmas presents for her children. Blansett’s daughter, 9, also was in the house at the time of Sunday’s incident, Sumner County Attorney Kerwin Spencer said.
Nicole and Clint Blansett were divorced about a year ago. She was given residential custody of Caleb and their daughter.
At one point in the 911 call, Blansett calmly spelled her last name. She also said during the call, “Oh God, why? Why?”
Blansett is being held in the Sumner County Jail on a $500,000 bond. In an e-mail, Sheriff Darren Chambers said he couldn’t say whether she was on suicide watch.
“What I can say is that she is not in the general population and is under 24 hours video observation,” he said, “as well as regular physical checks.”
Funeral services for Caleb Blansett are planned for 3 p.m. Saturday at First Christian Church in Wellington. A visitation is scheduled for 1 to 8 p.m. Friday at Day Funeral Home.
It’s not known whether Nicole Blansett will attend the funeral.
“She will not be attending the funeral unless I’m served a court order mandating she attend,” Chambers said.
Brown didn’t immediately return phone calls about whether he was seeking a court order.
An autopsy report hasn’t been completed, said Spencer, the county attorney.
As for the DCF report for non-abuse neglect, agency spokeswoman Theresa Freed said she couldn’t say who made the complaint Dec. 9 or whom the allegations were against.
Non-abuse neglect covers such things as caretakers’ inability to cope, a child’s behavior problem, drug abuse, not attending school and parent-child conflict, according to the DCF’s website.
DCF received a report on May 1 of Caleb being neglected, according to a timeline provided by the agency.
A case worker didn’t find Caleb at his school the next day. The worker went to Blansett’s home, in the 900 block of West Seventh, but was told the child was in Wichita. The mother was offered services, the report said, but she declined.
The report concluded that allegations of medical neglect were unsubstantiated.
On June 21, 2012 – about 18 months before the Blansetts divorced – DCF said it received allegations of family neglect. The agency said it conducted background checks on the mother and children, then closed the case the next day.
No other information was provided by DCF.
In a statement from DCF Secretary Phyllis Gilmore, she said: “As with any child death, we are deeply saddened by this news. We are carefully reviewing this incident and our history with this family. Our hearts go out to anyone affected by this unthinkable tragedy.”
Nicole Blansett, who married Clint Blansett in 2000 in Montague, Texas, filed for divorce in February 2013, saying the two were incompatible. In the divorce filings, he was identified as Christopher C. Blansett, although he goes by Clint.
At the time, she was unemployed and attending college in the summer, and he was employed by a business based in Scott, La., according to a domestic relations affidavit filed in court. His gross annual income at the time was $52,212.
She had $10 in her checking account and $10 in a savings account, according to the affidavit. For monthly expenses, she included rent of $375, food costs of $500 and a $325 car payment.
She had been in financial trouble before, according to a petition in Sumner County District Court filed on Aug. 10, 2011. She gave two worthless checks, one for $17.13, the other for $24.73, the petition said.
By Feb. 9, 2012, the case had resulted in a $553 judgment against her, and a garnishment order was issued to a Wellington business, a court document said.
A divorce decree on Dec. 20, 2013, said the couple didn’t own any real estate. Among the personal property she was awarded: furniture, appliances, household goods and a 2002 Jeep Liberty, on which she owed money.
A judge ordered him to pay “maintenance” of $500 a month and $898 a month in child support. He also was responsible for health coverage for the children. The judge granted her a judgment for $4,453.59 for unpaid temporary child support and maintenance through Dec. 20, 2013, according to the divorce decree.
One of the first things stated in the decree is that both parties were to “Put the best interests of the children first.”
Nicole Blansett received residential custody of the children. Clint Blansett was to receive “parenting time as the parties can agree to,” according to the parenting plan filed in court.
Contributing: Tim Potter of The Eagle