Karen was described as 'lucid' and 'very calm'

Karen was described as 'lucid' and 'very calm'

From the Pekin Journal-Star, May 16, 2007

Doctors: Mother was lucid
Professionals who treated McCarron say she was coherent during hospital stay
Wednesday, May 16, 2007

PEKIN - Though accused murderer Karen McCarron seemed upset about her 3-year-old daughter's death, she was not delusional and appeared lucid and coherent during her hospital stay, doctors testified Tuesday.

McCarron, 38, is charged with the May 13, 2006, suffocation death of her daughter, Katherine "Katie" McCarron. Her Chicago-based attorney, Marc Wolfe, wants to suppress confessions the Morton mother made to medical personnel while she was being treated from May 14 to May 16 last year for an attempted Tylenol overdose.

Contradicting her apparent suicide attempt, OSF Saint Francis Medical Center doctors said McCarron, a doctor herself, was very concerned about her medical status. St. Francis medical resident Zachary Young, who treated McCarron, said she asked to view her medical records and whether she would need to see a liver specialist. She also specified the hospital she wanted to be transferred to if a transplant was necessary.

McCarron did not discuss specifically why she tried to overdose.

"She said she had issues going on at home," Young said.

Medication administered to stop the breakdown of Tylenol helped prevent long-term damage. Side effects of a Tylenol overdose can include nausea, vomiting and possible liver failure.

Young said McCarron requested several times to speak to a psychiatrist. He told prosecutors when he spoke with her, she was lucid, coherent and did not appear to have lost touch with reality.

With the psychiatrist, McCarron discussed her daughter's struggles with autism.

"She said she and her husband tried very hard to help her daughter," said Dr. Sohee Lee.

McCarron then admitted to Lee that she put a garbage bag over her daughter's head.

Lee said though McCarron seemed "pre-occupied" and was "sobbing" during his visit, she was not delusional and knew where she was.

Wolfe's defense is not yet known, but McCarron's previous attorneys indicated they would seek an insanity defense. McCarron remains confined in a mental treatment facility in Springfield, where she has been since mid-June.

McCarron allegedly suffocated her daughter with a plastic bag at her mother's Morton home. The next day, she supposedly tried to overdose on Tylenol, telling police she "wanted to end her pain and Katie's pain."

Morton police Officer Robert Thompson testified when he arrived at McCarron's home, she was attempting CPR on her child, who was not breathing. He said McCarron was hysterical, yelling "Oh, Katie. Oh, Katie."

Hours later, after the toddler was pronounced dead, Thompson returned to the home to collect bed sheets, where he said McCarron's demeanor was calmer.

She told him she took Katie for a ride and then back home and upstairs for a nap. When she didn't hear anything several hours later, McCarron went to check on her daughter and found she wasn't breathing, he said.

McCarron is charged with two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of obstructing justice and one count of concealment of a homicidal death.

The suppression hearing was continued to June 5 in order to hear more witness testimony.

Wolfe also reserves the right to seek a change of venue for the highly publicized case.

Karen McDonald can be reached at 346-5300 or kmcdonald@pjstar.com.

Comment by Stephen Drake Forest Park, IL
May 19, 2007 - 12:39
Subject: Reality check...

... For 20 months, Katie McCarron was living out of state with her father

and paternal grandmother. Katie did not depress *them* and they took care of her day after day. Katie was with her mother for a total of ten days before she was allegedly murdered.

It took a long time for the pjstar to reveal that, though. Mostly, the early coverage by the pjstar contained glowing comments about the accused killer from local parents - and the grieving family was ignored.

The pjstar's sister paper in Springfield went so far as to label Katie McCarron's death an "alleged mercy killing."

Let's hope that something resembling journalistic standards will apply as the trial is underway. This article was a promising start in that direction.

Robert January 18 2007:
PEKIN: Tests can be performed on bag, judge says
of the Journal Star
PEKIN - A Tazewell County judge will allow DNA testing on a plastic bag a Morton mother is accused of using as a weapon to suffocate her 3-year-old autistic daughter.

Judge Stephen Kouri on Thursday ruled against a defense motion asking DNA tests not be allowed on the bag Dr. Karen McCarron allegedly used to suffocate Katherine "Katie" McCarron on May 13.

Marc Wolfe, the Chicago-based attorney for McCarron, said he plans to file a motion to suppress McCarron's confession, which if granted, he claimed could render any DNA evidence moot.

Assistant State's Attorney Kirk Schoenbein said the bag has some "snag marks" that could be evidence of Katherine's tooth marks and there is an unknown spot that could contain DNA.


McCarron, now 38, admitted to police she placed a plastic bag over her daughter's head until she was dead. She is charged with two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of obstructing justice and one count of concealment of a homicidal death for allegedly killing her daughter at her mother's Morton home.

Karen McDonald can be reached at 346-5300 or kmcdonald@pjstar.com.

For more on this story, see Friday's Journal Star.
Posted by Anthony Smith on 01/18 at 08:13 PM

Photographs of Katie have been made available for public use by her grandfather. Download yours here: Katie McCarron Photos

Initial news reports on Katie's murder
Daughter's murder puts focus on 'toll of autism' With a cautionary note by us on that "toll of autism" thing.
'This was not about autism', grandfather says
Katie's father files for divorce, citing 'extreme mental cruelty'
Karen McCarron admitted to planning the murder
'I wanted to take the autism out of her'
More analysis of the Journal-Star articles.
Murder of Autistics (Archive)

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