LOGAN — A judge has postponed his sentence for a River Height’s mother, Heidi M. Rutchey, who previously pleaded guilty but mentally ill to killing her infant son in 2013. Judge Thomas Willmore stayed his order of one-to-15-years until September 6.
Rutchey appeared in 1st District Court Monday afternoon to be sentenced on one count of child abuse homicide, a second-degree felony.
Outside the courtroom, defense attorney David Perry said after the sentence was given, the judge realized Utah law requires Rutchey to be evaluated one final time.
“The judge ordered her to the Utah State Hospital but then it was continued because the State Hospital gets to have their input, whether she should go there or not,” explained Perry.
Prosecutors said Rutchey was being medicated for mental health issues in September 2013. Cache County Sheriff’s deputies report she stopped taking her prescriptions and went into a delusional state of mind. During that time, she suffocated her two-year-old son Eli. Later in November 2016, she was found competent to stand trial after being treated at the state hospital for three-years.
State attorney Aaron Jossie said he didn’t anticipate the sentence changing much after the state hospital’s executive director’s evaluation is completed.
“I think people that remember this case at its inception four years ago, it was a very tragic situation,” explained Jossie. “It’s a terrible thing to happen to anybody. A terrible thing to happen to a child, to a mother and I think ultimately, even despite Ms. Rutchey’s mental condition even today, I’m sure she is paying the price for what she has done. It is unfortunate but all we can do is move forward and hope for the best.”
Rutchey spoke only briefly during sentencing. She told the court, she felt the state hospital would be the best place for her because of their structured treatment.
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