Carson City woman charged with murder in November death of 18-month old toddler
A 23-year-old Carson City woman faces murder charges following the death of an 18-month-old toddler, Justin Watson, in November 2012.
Brittany Michelle Paugh turned herself into the Carson City Sheriff's Office Thursday. She is being held without bail. Charges include first degree murder, child abuse, child abuse causing death, second degree murder with child neglect and child abuse with substantial harm. The toddler died of significant trauma to the brain.
Sheriff Ken Furlong said the arrest came after an extensive investigation that involved medical specialists outside the state.
The arrest was made after the Nov. 10, 2012 incident where Carson City Sheriff Office deputies were called to an apartment complex in the 2200 block of Long Street after an emergency call was made to dispatch by the boy's father who said his son was in distress, bleeding but not conscious. The boy was was taken to Carson Tahoe Hospital and transported to Renown Medical Center where he was removed from life support a few days later. The boy had suffered traumatic injuries to the brain.
The child was, at the time of the report, in the care of Paugh, who called her boyfriend Nic Watson who was not home a the time and told him the child had been injured. Watson then called 911.
Results of the death came back earlier this month, with the DAs office asking for some additional information before the warrant was issued Thursday, said Furlong. Three teams of officers went to look for Paugh and didn't find her. Instead, at about 6 p.m., she turned herself into the sheriff's office where Deputy Bob Guimont booked her.
There are seven people in the Carson City Jail facing murder charges. Four involve the April murder of Nevada insurance examiner William McCune. They are 23-year-old Michael Evans, 20-year-old Makyla Blackmore, 22-year-old Raul Garcia and 20-year-old Anthony Elliott.
Leonardo Cardoza, 27, remains in jail and charged with the Jan. 26 road rage death of 19-year-old Desiree Bragg of Carson City. He has pled not guilty and will face a trial.
And there is the Feb. 3 slaying of James Lay of Carson City. David Grimes, 32, of Dayton faces a murder charge after allegedly shooting Lay during an alcohol-fueled Super Bowl party.
Furlong acknowledges the number of those sitting in jail for murder is high, but statistically, the crime rate has dropped significantly in the areas of violent crime and property crime, for three straight months. According to statistics compiled, crime in these areas is down 10 to 13 percent, Furlong said. April stats show crime was down by 13 percent over the previous year.
May crime stats haven't been released but Furlong believes that stats will show another month of significant decreases in violent crime (robbery, rape, murder, aggravated assaults) and property crime such as theft, burglary and vandalism.
"The extensive media coverage of these high profile event leads the public to believe there is a high crime problem but the statistics point otherwise," Furlong said. "The crime rate is lower because of the public's help, people getting involved, reporting things that appear suspect. It is this and it is the significant and aggressive action of detectives and patrol officers on the street doing the right things on the front."