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Benton mother pleads to reduced charge in son’s death

By Web staff

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    BENTON, Louisiana (KTBS) — A Benton mother arrested in the 2020 poisoning death of her young son will be sentenced in Bossier District Court early next year after pleading last month to a reduced charge.

Courtney Seilhammer, 38, remains in custody following her plea to second-degree cruelty to a juvenile. She was initially charged with second-degree murder.

According to court documents, Seilhammer will be sentenced on Jan. 17. A plea agreement with the state sets a 20-year cap on sentencing.

Seilhammer’s 1-year-old son, Silas Ryan Seilhammer, died of renal failure because of Acetone intoxication. Acetone is commonly used in nail polish remover, and a bottle was found in a makeup carrier in Seilhammer’s home.

District Attorney Schuyler Marvin said he accepted the reduced plea because of some “sketchy” evidence. Seilhammer claimed in pre-trial motions her son could have accessed a Kaboodle where the Acetone bottle was found.

Detectives investigating the case described Seilhammer, who was a registered nurse, as calm as she handed over her son. Medical personnel said the child was possibly in a stage of rigor already.

During a search of her home, investigators found crushed up Tramadol, as if someone was snorting the drug. Seilhammer said she crushed it to ease her stomach.

There was also a large amount of empty alcohol containers in the trash. Seilhammer denied anyone in the house drank besides her and she only did on the weekends.

She told investigators her child may have been in the bathtub and possibly got into a bottle of aspirin. She appeared incoherent and her statements were not making sense, detectives said.

Deputies said they smelled alcohol coming from her breathe and on her person. They also noticed towels on the back bathroom floor and there was water in the tub.

During an initial interview, Seilhammer said she found Silas with shallow breathing just before calling 911 after she laid him down in his crib.

She admitted to drinking two glasses of wine and had nothing to eat. Her blood alcohol level measured at .190%, which is twice over the legal limit to drive a car.

Seilhammer said Silas had gotten into some aspirin she left on the edge of the tub. She retrieved one from his mouth. She admitted to leaving him unattended while she did chores.

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