Koralynn Fister: Dead toddler’s mother pleads innocent to putting little one in harm’s way

Friday, March 22, 2013 at 7:09 pm
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Becky M. Heupel prepares to leave the courtroom after bail was settled with a $10,000 signature bond today.

Updated at 8:18 p.m.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Almost a year after losing her 2-year-old daughter to torturous sexual abuse of a new live-in boyfriend, Becky M. Heupel today faced a judge, charged with failing to protect the little girl.

Heupel, 31, admitted to police, according to prosecutors, that if she had witnessed injuries on someone else’s child that she saw on her own daughter, she would have called the police.

The Centralia woman pleaded not guilty this afternoon to second-degree criminal mistreatment in Lewis County Superior Court. It’s a class C felony.

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Koralynn Fister

Koralynn Fister died last May 24 of head injuries and drowning; the boyfriend James Reeder said he found her face down in the bathtub when he stepped out to get a towel.

Flanked by two women in the Chehalis courtroom described by Koralynn’s father as Heupel’s advocates, the mother did her best to avoid news cameras, and said very little during the brief hearing.

Heupel, who is partially deaf, used a hearing device provided by courtroom staff.

“I think it’s bogus,” her father Terry Heupel said of the criminal charge. “She ended up with a bad fellow she trusted. She was like a mother hen to those kids.”

Becky Heupel has a 4-year-old daughter who was put into foster care by the state when Koralynn died.

Heupel’s step-mother, sister, grandmother and other apparent supporters were among those who attended the proceedings. David Fister, father of Koralynn, was present as well.

Fister said he preferred not to comment, wishing to stay out of the spotlight.

Koralynn would have turned 3 years old two weeks ago, the toddler’s grandfather said.

“For her birthday, instead of gearing up up for a celebration, we went to the cemetery,” Terry Heupel said. “That was hard.”

Charges were filed two weeks ago, and Heupel was summonsed by mail to appear for today’s hearing.

Prosecutors allege the mother recklessly created an imminent and substantial risk of death or great bodily harm through her inaction.

When interviewed by Centralia police this past January, Heupel confirmed she wanted a relationship with Reeder and ignored warnings from others about the relationship, as well as signs she saw herself, such as controlling behavior and signs of abuse to the child, according to prosecutors.

Her attorney, Paul Strophy, said he was only hired this week and didn’t have enough information yet to make any statements outside the courtroom.

“It’s premature to make any comments on the case,” Strophy said.

Charging documents for Heupel repeat in a fair amount of detail the injuries, new and old, that medical personnel discovered on the little girl’s body. When he charged Reeder last May, Lewis County Prosecutor Jonathan Meyer called it the the worst case of child abuse and neglect he’d seen in his career.

The charging documents do not specify what signs of abuse prosecutors allege Heupel saw on her daughter.

Lewis County Senior Deputy Prosecutor Will Halstead earlier this month told a judge nobody else really knew what was happening to Koralynn other than Reeder as he had isolated the child; he’d change her diapers and give her baths.

Among the injuries noted were palm-sized pieces of skin missing from her buttocks, consistent with rubbing over time, according to Halstead.

Prosecutors allege that the day before Koralynn died, her aunt noticed an injury on the toddler’s behind and told Heupel she needed to have it looked at.

Charging documents state that Heupel told police she met Reeder online and he moved into the home off  West Oakview Avenue about 10 weeks before Koralynn’s death.

She admitted to police she had issues setting boundaries in relationships, according to charging documents.

About one month before the death, Reeder suggested parenting duties should be divided up, and as a result he spent a significant amount of time alone with the toddler, documents state. When Heupel would leave, he’d insist she take the older daughter, Meyer wrote.

Heupel and her 4-year-old left the house about 12:30 p.m. the day Koralynn died, less than three hours before Reeder carried the naked and unbreathing child to neighbors across the street asking them to call 911.

Meyer contends the mother chose to ignore the risks so her relationship with Reeder could continue.

Meyer requested, and Judge James Lawler agreed, today that Heupel remain out of jail pending trial on a $10,000 signature bond.

The judge also ordered she have no contact with children, except for the two hour once a visit allowed by Child Protective Services with her remaining daughter.

A trial was set for the week of June 10
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For background, read “Centralia man gets maximum prison term for sexual abuse, death of toddler” from Wednesday March 6, 2013, here

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21 Responses to “Koralynn Fister: Dead toddler’s mother pleads innocent to putting little one in harm’s way”

  1. me says:

    EveryoneStopBeingDumb. ThatBitch KilledHerOwnBaBY. SheIsDisgustingAndIHopeHerChildThatRemainsAliveNeverGetsStuckWithHerEverAgain. IHearSheHasAWayBetterMomNow

  2. sunshinegirl says:

    This case just seems to bring the rage out in people does it not??? I have read all these reviews , and my own rant,and the main theme here (except for DCEs weird tirade) seems to be rage at all the people in this childs life who should have been the first defense. You folks should be ashamed and do not defend this whole shameful thing . You should all pitch your tents and slink off back into the ooze from whence you came. All of you who actually noticed injuries and did nothing, and defend this creature who pimped her own baby out for her own selfish needs. All of you who were aware and ignored. Grandparents, parents, Aunts and Uncles, shame on you all. As I hold my small grandchild one in my arms tonight I will say a small prayer for that precious little girl who sadly, is probably better off DEAD.

  3. Disgusted (The Original) says:

    I just picture Becky The Stupid Bitch being practically pushed out the door by freakboy while her helpless baby probably hysterically screamed and cried her little eyes out begging not to be left alone with a monster and her dumbass mother ignoring the obvious. I don’t know what Heupel (or ANY woman for that matter) even saw in Reeder. The guy truly is one of the ugliest men I think I have ever laid eyes on. On top of that, he had no job and is a tweaker – the lowest of the low. Of course, chances are Stupid Becky is also a tweaker.

    They charged Reeder with possession because it was another charge against him to possibly give him a longer sentence, but remember, the stuff was found in HER house. It’s so maddening. The idiot should be rotting in jail surrounded by pictures of what that freak did to her innocent child. It’s not like she works or anything . . . I’m ranting. This case just infuriates me.

  4. Dominoe says:

    ***For* his previous GF. *** WAS* Was* married and had a child with him.

  5. Dominoe says:

    What now..Reeder DOES have a domestic violence record. For my neice and food his previous girlfriend before her. A DV charge doesn’t mean shit and no one takes them seriously. They don’t do jack for time, and a restraining order is an effing joke. These women have to be smart enough to protect themselves, protect their children, and get out of the situation, because the cops and the courts don’t protect anyone. I choose not to involve the police in my life, or in my family’s life, because, they don’t do anyone any good, and all they do is create more problems. Katie wouldn’t have left him no matter what until she was ready to. At least she had the decency to get her child out of the situation and put him with family. The system is an effing joke, and domestic violence is still pretty much ignored even in this day in age. Monsters like this prey not only on children, but on weak women. What I can tell u is Katie was madly in love with him at first and by the time she saw what he really was she wasn’t married and had a child with him. When it got to the point where she felt her baby was in danger, she got him out off the situation first and then herself. Short of killing him, there was nothing I could do but wait for her to come to her senses. Like I said he did have domestic violence charges and guess what?… those charges didn’t stop him from an effing thing. Do you honestly think that Becky would have given a shit that he if she had known he had DV charges? She would have ignored the charges, just like she ignored the warnings from everyone, and ignored the signs of abuse in her daughter, and ignored her cries for help. In an abusive situation a woman can do 1 of 2 things; 1. kill her abuser. 2. LEAVE. The thing is Becky wasn’t afraid to leave she just didn’t want to because she wanted the relationship with Jimmy, she admitted that. Katie was afraid, Becky was infatuated. There is a very sick difference.

  6. What now? says:

    I know that some people get upset when you ask “why not call the cops?” on a loser who beats their wife or family. I just don’t get that. I’m not saying call 911 every time you see a child get spanked, or someone gets drunk and yells, but when someone has constant black eyes or DV damage, then I would think that it is time to call for the police. And don’t tell me that having a restraining order is no good, because though it won’t save your life, it could do something for the next person (and not an RO because someone won’t stop calling – RO’s should be for dangerous activity). If a person has a history of beating people or hurting children, WHEN they are caught the courts will be able to use that against them. How many times do we read “No previous record” and to the courts that means that they are a nice person, just misunderstood, or that this is a one-time incident (rape in the campground sound familiar? good guy, no previous violent history, just “some” drug abuse)?

    If Reeder had enough of a history to warrant him lawfully unsafe around kids, how much harder would the judge be on Becky? It wouldn’t be a case of “ignored the warning signs” but a case of “you knowingly and illegally let your child near a known bad guy that has a history of physically hurting those weaker than he”.

    I REALLY don’t like the police state mentality, but at the same time the police ARE there for a reason. Written history (and pictures to go along with) can be very powerful, especially when emotions are involved.

  7. Dominoe says:

    Right?! I know! Thank u disgusted! I’m a mother, and I KNOW my child…there is no way (Even if there weren’t physical signs…which she admitted there were and even said she saw herself) that a mother couldn’t see there was something wrong just by looking in her baby’s eyes. She knew it. She knew it all and and CHOSE to pretend it wasn’t happening so she could have her relationship. That’s not a mother. That’s not even a human. Here’s the thing: I knew Reeder. He was married to my neice Katie. He did some unspeakable things to her while they were together and I had to sit on my effing hands and even be nice to him or I couldn’t have a relationship with Katie. Even if I didn’t have a vendetta against all chimos…I have personal attachments to this case.
    Koralynn’s “mother” (I should say her rented uterus) is JUST as gulity as that scumbag because she could have stopped this.
    My son the other day asked me if there are really monsters. About to say no, I paused and thought a moment. “Yes” I said “But they don’t look like the fake ones in the movies”. He replied, “What do they look like then?” I said “Just like regular people…like cousin Jimmy”
    But he doesn’t have to be afraid because it’s my job to protect him. I haven’t always been a perfect mother (no such thing), but I’ve never let him come to any harm or for effs sake put him in danger myself. When children are scared or hurt they call for their mothers. She ignored Koralynn’s cries. Ignored her until she died, and now she wants to play as some victim?! I’m sorry but F#$K THAT. Someone has to protect her other daughter because EVERYONE can see she won’t. She’s unfit. At best.

  8. Disgusted (The Original) says:

    I agree with Dominoe. I asked months ago if she was possibly mentally retarded because nothing else could explain not only OVERLOOKING what was going on, but to allow it to happen in the first place. For those as stupid as Becky Heupel, here is some advice: If ANY man asks for alone time with your child – BEWARE! This should be a huge red flag to anyone with half a brain. She should never be allowed to have another child, including the one that is still living. My heart aches for that poor baby and the torture she had to endure before she died. For Becky Heupel and James Reeder, I feel nothing but disgust.

  9. Disgusted (The Original) says:

    I agree with Dominoe. I asked months ago if she was possibly mentaly retarded because nothing else could explain not only OVERLOOKING what was going on, but to allow it to happen in the first place. For those as stupid as Becky Heupel, here is some advice: If ANY man asks for alone time with your child – BEWARE! This should be a huge red flag to anyone with half a brain. She should never be allowed to have another child, including the one that is still living. My heart aches for that poor baby and the torture she had to endure before she died. For Becky Heupel and James Reeder, I feel nothing but disgust.

  10. Dominoe says:

    DCE Does one have to be a bully to be disgusted by this girl? Also do u always have to find a way to turn every story Sharyn prints into a recant of ur sordid history with the LC police and legal system? Anyone that has been in the system there (myself Included) knows what they are about. My suggestion: get over it or move out of there cuz it aint gonna change. No matter how much u rant about it.

  11. Dirty Cop Enforcer says:

    The People that run this county are out in the Open, they drive through the city just to pick up a pay check. Most county officials will sell their souls for money and power. It’s funny I’m no longer the only one stating that LC is corrupt.

  12. Jeff says:

    DCE, I agree it is a good Ole boys club. My friend had a clear case of a neighbor calling in a false report to 911 (it was all on camera ) , When my friend was granted a protection order and the neighbor admitted he lied to 911 under oath in court Mr. Meyers would not file charges against him. Mr. Meyers sins 6 days a week and goes to church on Sunday to ask for forgiveness and he believes that he is saved for another week. He was famous for not telling the truth when he was an attorney with McConnell and he has carried that on to being prosecutor. We thought Randolph was bad……………….

  13. Hettie says:

    I know I’m only seeing this one picture but she does not look 31. Looks like she could be a young grandmother or something like around 50. Which says to me some sort of substance abuse like alcohol or drugs. Which makes me wonder if that could have affected her judgment. Not as in an excuse but something to go off of for her mental state. But if her attorneys aren’t mentioning it that’s their thing. Of course I guess it could be cigarette smoking but yikes. Kids if you need an example as to why you shouldn’t get started with things here you go.

  14. Dirty Cop Enforcer says:

    She just looks like a trailer park truck driver…no offense to truck drivers! My papa always called chubby women truck drivers lol idk and she looks trashy as hell..just sayin.

    Let me Guess you were a Bully in Grade School? Just Sayin. Well knowing that her attorney is Paul Strophy, she should be fine knowing Strophy and Jonathon Meyers are best friends and neighbors. A plea deal is only a lawn away!

    Another Prime Example of a Good Ole Boy System John.

    Was There Cannabis in this child System. Or it DSHS put it there? IN the DSHS system this childs chances of being raped or molested only double. Not to mention the pure terror that will be inficted on this child by the already damaged children in the DSHS system… Two wrong will make a 3rd wrong out of this child. How many children have taken sips of Grand Pa’s Beer? Oh that’s right Millions….. Another Big Brother Destroy the Family Failure. But hey Jonathan Meyer Hands out Justice and Steve Mansfield Lets Inmates eat off the floor and his Deputy’s Murder… Welcome to Lewis County where the Local Police Have No Dash Cameras!

  15. Free Air says:

    Am I the only one here who got sick reading this story? So help me I think I might throw up.

  16. Dominoe says:

    She just looks like a trailer park truck driver…no offense to truck drivers! My papa always called chubby women truck drivers lol idk and she looks trashy as hell..just sayin.

  17. Astonished says:

    Hey now, take it easy on the truck drivers…………. we are not all pukes……………..

  18. Dominoe says:

    As an afterthought…has anyone seen Reeder? He’s so effin ugly inside and out I don’t see how the puke gets laid. She really wanted a relationship with this deformed, chimo, baby killer so bad that she “ignored signs of abuse she saw in her daughter”..?! Pathetic, lonely, stupid stupid girl. I mean even this trailer park, truck driver could do better than Jimmy Reeder.

  19. Dominoe says:

    All I can say is I pray she never gets her other daughter back…oh yea that and I hope she is either spayed like a stray cat or dies in an alley like one. What’s with the people who keep defending her parenting? Say she loved Kora…say she did her best, but for fucks sake stop saying she was a good mom. It makes them all look as ignorant and blind as she does. Oh yes she was such a mother hen that, she let her boyfriend, whom she met on the internet, and knew for a few weeks, move in with her, take over parenting her 2 year old daughter (including baths and diaper changes) and then turned a blind eye while he raped and tortured her baby to death, so she could play house and scratch that itch between her legs. Now that’s quality parenting worthy of a newspaper quote defense.

  20. sunshinegirl says:

    You are shittin me she was aware of the injuries????? Did she hate that child??? I don”t get it? Is she mentally disabled?? That is the only explanation I can even imagine. Even family members saw these injuries?? WTF???

  21. John says:

    Well knowing that her attorney is Paul Strophy, she should be fine knowing Strophy and Jonathon Meyers are best friends and neighbors. A plea deal is only a lawn away!

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