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Jury trial scheduled for grandmother in child’s drowning

Beverly Bryant - March 24, 2017 11:28 am

Dates for a pretrial conference and a jury trial have been set for Esther Lee Bales, charged with second-degree murder after two or more felony convictions, or in the alternative, child neglect after a former conviction of two or more felonies.

Bales was arrested Jan. 27, 2016, after an investigation conducted by the Ponca City Police Department into the drowning death of her 4-year-old granddaughter, Haley M. Primeaux, in July 2015.

Haley, along with several other children, had been at the swim beach at Lake Ponca on July 27, 2015, in the care of her aunt, Wanita Gale Jackson, and grandmother Bales, when the Ponca City Communications Center received a call reporting the child was drowning. Bystanders at the swim beach administered CPR until ambulance personnel arrived.

A warrant also was issued for Jackson and she was taken into custody the same day as Bales. She was charged with second-degree murder, or in the alternative, felony child neglect.

A pre-trial conference for Bales is set for 9 a.m. April 21, with jury trial scheduled at 9 a.m. May 16.

Jackson’s pre-trial conference is set for 9 a.m. May 5. She is scheduled for a felony trial scheduling docket at 9 a.m. June 7.


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