Suspect in toddler’s death appears in court |

Suspect in toddler’s death appears in court

by F.T. Norton

A death-penalty-certified attorney was appointed Thursday for a Silver Springs man accused of killing his girlfriend’s son.

Cody Wallace, 23, appeared in Walker River Justice Court in Yerington on Thursday where he waived his right to a preliminary hearing in 15 days.

Lyon County Assistant District Attorney Mark Krueger said his office has not yet made a determination on whether or not to seek the death penalty in the killing of 2-year-old Thomas O’Connell IV.

Wallace was allegedly alone with the child on Nov. 23 when he called 911 to report the boy was not breathing. Thomas was taken to Carson Tahoe Regional Medical Center then transferred to a Reno trauma center, where he died.

According to the criminal complaint filed Dec. 1, Wallace stands accused of killing Thomas by beating him while the child’s mother was at work.

“Defendant … did cause bruising in the ears, marks on the buttocks, multiple injuries to the forehead and blunt force trauma to the head of Thomas … resulting in mortal injury and causing death,” the complaint states.

Wallace also is charged with child abuse, neglect or endangerment.

Krueger said a death penalty review team will be seated by the District Attorney’s Office to determine if the case qualifies.

Wallace remains in jail without bail. He will appear in court on Dec. 30 for a status check.