Prosecutors to amend charge in McIntosh baby killing case

Tulsa, Oklahoma (AP) 3-08

Tulsa County prosecutors plan to amend a first-degree murder charge to child neglect against a man accused of killing a baby last year.

Robert Brian Boeckman was charged in January 2007 with the death of 10-month-old Eric McIntosh for allegedly inflicting fatal injuries to the boy in a Tulsa hotel room.

Eric died Jan. 4, 2007, of blunt-force trauma to the abdomen, according to a medical examiner who ruled the death a homicide.

Boeckman, 50, was scheduled to go on trial next week on the murder charge and on a count of assault and battery on a police officer. He has been in the Tulsa Jail without bail since Jan. 11, 2007.

After conferring with lawyers, District Judge Tom Gillert set bail for Boeckman at $25,000 on the murder count, with bail remaining at $10,000 on the assault count. Boeckman was recently released on bond.

Assistant District Attorney Brian Kuester indicated that he expects an amended charge to be filed in which the murder count will be replaced by a child-neglect charge.

Kuester said that during his trial preparation, he was advised of additional evidence “that caused me to believe that child neglect was the more appropriate charge.”

He would not comment on the specifics of the evidence that prompted the change.

The trial date will be stricken, and Boeckman will be entitled to a preliminary hearing on the expected neglect charge, defense attorney Rob Nigh said.

When asked what prompted the charge change, Nigh said that information would have to come from the District Attorney’s Office.

“We have maintained all along that Brian Boeckman was not responsible for the child’s death, and we provided information that had a tendency to support that,” he said.

Boeckman also maintains his innocence concerning the expected neglect charge, Nigh said.

When he was born, Eric McIntosh had illegal drugs in his blood. State and tribal courts kept him from his mother, Sara Nicole McIntosh, for months, but eventually he was returned to her, records obtained by the Tulsa World show.

McIntosh, now 22, testified at a 2007 hearing that she and Boeckman lived together before they got married in December 2006 in Arkansas.

McIntosh was booked into jail the same day as Boeckman on complaints of first-degree murder and child neglect, but was released eight days later when prosecutors declined to charge her.