Mother Accused of Killing Daughter: Second Delay for Court Hearing

By Isabelle Guzman

On March 29th 2012, Las Vegas Judge Joe Bonaventure decided to delay the court hearing for a second time in the case of a mother accused stabbing her daughter to death with a pair of scissors. The hearing is now scheduled for April 24th, allowing more time for review of the police reports. The public defender working on the case reports that the suspect might not fully understand the charge held against her.

The tragedy took place last March 11th, in the 1600 block of Palmae Way near Vegas Drive and Tenaya here in Las Vegas.

Danielle Slaughter, mother of 6-year-old Kyla Franks, faces a charge of murder with a deadly weapon, after her daughter was found dead in the master bedroom of their house. Ashton Lyken, identifying himself as Slaughter’s boyfriend, called 911 after finding the child’s body. He reported to the dispatchers that Kyla had stab wounds on her neck. The little girl had already passed away by the time he contacted the police.

Slaughter was found about 2 miles from her home shortly after the killing, around 6:00pm. The woman was running on the street naked and although she appeared uninjured, her hands were covered in blood. She told the police officers who found her, that the blood on her hands was from “The Lamb of God.” She was transported to Valley Hospital and Medical Center where she was later arrested to be booked in the Clark County Detention Center.

In a rather eerie confession, Danielle Slaughter told the police that she had kept Kyla out of her daycare on Sunday because she had felt an “evil” spirit lurking for several days. She then explained that during the afternoon, she called her daughter into her bedroom and closed the door. Kyla, according to her mother, began speaking with “evil words” and laughing in an “evil voice.” Slaughter said she then picked up a pair of scissors from the desk and stabbed her daughter multiple times.

The arrest report says that Slaughter expressed disbelief in regards to the situation. She said she couldn’t believe she killed her daughter and that “it was not like her”. Police say that she appeared confused throughout the confession.

Homicide Lt. Ray Steiber mentions that Slaughter may have been affected by the weight-loss product Hydroxycut that she had started taking, not too long before the incident. Although it isn’t officially known to cause delusions or confusion, it may be a cause for the suspect to be sleep-deprived.

It is said that Slaughter did not have any criminal record and according to child welfare officials, she has no prior history in Clark County. This was the first time authorities had been involved where the tragedy took place. Steiber says “There were no apparent issues that were going on. Everybody appeared to be happy and jovial.” Slaughter and her daughter had moved in the neighborhood less than a year ago. The household was described as a quiet, church-going family by the neighbors.

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