Woman might avoid jail term in plea agreement on death of her baby son

Jun 21, 2012 By Christina George, Staff Writer

The Pavillion woman charged in the November death of her infant son may escape jail time in exchange for probation if a judge accepts a plea agreement filed last week on her behalf.

According to the agreement filed June 15 in Lander's District Court, Candace Lea Wagner wants to plead no contest to a misdemeanor charge of criminally negligent homicide in connection with the Nov. 11, 2011, death of 2-month-old Clancy Lee Wagner.

In exchange, the child abuse and manslaughter charges, both felonies, would be dismissed. The two charges carry a combined 25-year jail term.

The misdemeanor charge is punishable by up to a year in jail and a $2,000 fine. However, under the deal, the sentence, which would be served at the Fremont County Detention Center, would be suspended and Wagner would be placed on supervised probation for one year.

District Court Judge Marvin L. Tyler, of Sublette County, set an Aug. 6 jury trial for the case during an arraignment hearing in March after Wagner pleaded not guilty to all three charges.

Clancy was pronounced dead at 8:56 a.m. Nov. 11 at Riverton Memorial Hospital. The cause of death was ruled as asphyxia.

Wagner, who was 34 years old at the time of her son's death, was arrested Dec. 30 for the crime. She was later released on a $5,000 cash bond.

According to charging documents, Wagner allegedly spent the night before her baby's death consuming several alcoholic beverages at a bar in Pavillion.

After collecting her baby from a sitter's later that night, she went home and put him in bed with her.

Documents state that when Wagner awoke the following morning, she found her baby unresponsive.

Police reportedly administered an alcohol breath test to Wagner while she was at the hospital. According to court documents, the test indicated she had a blood alcohol level of .064 percent. A urine sample taken a few hours later reportedly showed Wagner's blood alcohol level to be .1 percent.

If the plea agreement is accepted, Wagner will be required to pay restitution on all three original charges.

If the court rejects the deal, Wagner can withdraw her plea, and prosecutors will be allowed to proceed with prosecution of all charges.

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