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Woman charged with three-year-old's homicide pleads not guilty

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Posted at 3:51 PM, May 01, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-01 18:56:37-04

MARINETTE (NBC 26) — A Marinette woman pleaded not guilty to homicide and neglect charges over the death of a three-year-old boy last summer.

  • As we previously reported, court documents say Wishman told police the boy fell down a flight of stairs.
  • Investigators say it's unlikely a fall down the stairs would've caused his injuries.
  • The medical examiner ruled the cause of death as blunt force injuries and the manner of death homicide.

(The following is a transcription of the full broadcast story.)

Samantha Wishman returns to court, charged with causing the death of a little boy. A case once ruled accidental. I'm Pari Apostolakos at the Marinette County Courthouse with how Wishman pleaded.

"My client has received a copy of the information," James Schoenecker, Wishman's defense attorney, said over Zoom. "She does understand the charges in the information and their maximum penalties. She'll waive a formal reading, reserving all sufficiency and jurisdictional objections and enter pleas of not guilty."

Samantha Wishman pleaded not guilty to first degree reckless homicide and neglecting a child resulting in death. She appeared in court via Zoom from the Marinette County Jail Wednesday.

I spoke with Samantha's mother, Tammy, outside the courtroom.

"She's doing what she needs to do. She needs to fight for what's right," Tammy said. "They're making her sound like a monster ... I believe that she is going to be found innocent."

According to court records, last summer, Wishman called 9-1-1 and told police her partner's three year old boy had recently fallen down a flight of stairs. Police say the child was later pronounced dead at a hospital.

An autopsy report shows he had broken ribs, a punctured lung, a concussion and bruising on his face and body. Investigators say it's unlikely a fall down the stairs would've caused those injuries.

The medical examiner ruled the cause of death as blunt force injuries and the manner of death homicide.

According to records, text messages from Wishman to the boy's father shortly before the boy's death say she's ready to "Hurt [these] kids," and "I hate my life sooooo much."

When asked about those texts, Samantha's mother explains what she thought was the reason behind those texts.

"That's her stressing that she's stressed out," Tammy said. "She's done that so many times when she's stressed out to him."

Samantha Wishman will be back in court in July. In Marinette, Pari Apostolakos NBC 26.