High court upholds conviction of mother in death of infant sons
June 1, 2003
The Nevada Supreme Court has upheld the conviction of a Reno woman in the deaths of two of her infant sons.
Three of Denise Dianna Buchanan’s children died in infancy and the deaths initially were blamed on Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Prosecutors charged her after the third little boy died in 1997 saying experts believe three cases of SIDS in one family are statistically nearly impossible. They also said there was evidence the woman abused the children, wasn’t taking good care of them and denied them attention and affection.
They said the babies had breathing monitors on them after the first child’s death to warn parents if the infant stops breathing. Those monitors were turned off when the second and third child died.
The high court upheld the jury verdict convicting Buchanan of murdering two of the infants saying the evidence also includes her unemotional attitude about the deaths, her contradictory versions about events leading to the death of one child and the fact those stories don’t match the evidence from the breathing monitor.
In addition, forensic pathologists who testified in the case concluded the deaths were caused by asphyxiation.
The court unanimously upheld the conviction and sentence of two consecutive life terms.