2 felony charges officially filed against mother

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Meghan McKeon

— Two felony charges of child abuse resulting in death officially were filed Thursday against Meghan McKeon, the mother of Austin Davis, the 3-year-old who died March 27.

Police think Austin was left alone for nearly 20 hours while McKeon went to work and then spent the night at a boyfriend’s house. Police also think McKeon had been leaving Austin at home alone for more than a month. Toxicology tests are pending to help determine a cause of death.

McKeon appeared in Routt County Court on Thursday and waived a formal reading of the charges.

She is next scheduled to appear in court at 2 p.m. Wednesday.

McKeon waived her right to have a preliminary hearing within 35 days. Preliminary hearings are held to determine whether a case should proceed to trial in district court, where felony cases are heard.

“We want to make sure that we do this right and not quickly,” Public Defender Sheryl Uhlmann said to Judge James Garrecht.

Uhlmann filed several motions with the court and asked that they be sealed. The arrest warrant related to the more serious charges filed Thursday already has been sealed.

During the hearing, Garrecht issued a restraining order that forbids McKeon from having contact with Austin’s father, Tyler Davis, and Davis’ mother and stepfather. McKeon will be allowed to contact Tyler Davis for the purposes of arranging Austin’s funeral.

Tyler, who was incarcerated at Routt County Jail awaiting sentencing when Austin died, was given a personal recognizance bond by Garrecht on Thursday. One of the conditions of the bond is that he be released to the custody of his mother and stepfather who live in Grand County.

The two Class 2 felony charges filed against McKeon have different definitions.

Count 1 alleges that McKeon “knowingly, or recklessly permitted to be unreasonably placed in a situation that posed a threat of injury to, the life or health of a child, namely: Austin Davis, that resulted in the death of the child.”

Count 2 alleges “knowingly, or recklessly engaged in a continued pattern of conduct that resulted in malnourishment, lack of proper medical care, cruel punishment, mistreatment, or an accumulation of injuries, to Austin Davis, a child, that resulted in the death of the child.”

Class 2 felonies have a standard sentencing range of between eight and 24 years.

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @SBTStensland

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