Thomas Seeks Clarification for Involuntary Manslaughter Conviction


An Ottumwa woman, convicted of involuntary manslaughter last month by a judge, is now seeking clarification on the judge’s ruling.

Kelsie Thomas, 23, was found guilty for her role in the 2018 death of her five-year-old daughter Cloe Chandler by Judge Lucy Gamon in a November trial. The prosecution sought a first-degree murder conviction but in her ruling, Judge Gamon said she found no evidence of premeditation, along with malice aforethought (both requirements for first-degree murder), and convicted Thomas of the lesser charge of involuntary manslaughter, a felony.

Thomas’s lawyers filed a motion for clarification on December 9th. According to court documents, the lawyers made the argument that Thomas did not meet all of the requisites for a felony conviction.

In Iowa, there are two different kinds of involuntary manslaughter. The first is classified as a Class D felony when a person kills another while committing a public offense or forcible felony (death of a victim during a robbery, for example). The second kind is an aggravated misdemeanor which could be filed when a person performs an act that has a high probability of causing serious injury or death without intending for death to occur.

A felony conviction of involuntary manslaughter carries with it a sentence of up to five years in prison. On the other hand, a conviction of the aggravated misdemeanor charge of involuntary manslaughter has a sentence of up to two years in prison.

Thomas’ lawyers say because Judge Gamon did not specify an offense, Thomas did not meet the requirements to merit a felony sentence.

Wapello County District Attorney Reuben Neff disagrees with the defense’s assertion.

“The defendant’s motion asserts that this court had not indicated any public offense committed by the defendant. This is untrue.”

A hearing has been scheduled for January 4th.

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Pam Breeding
Pam Breeding
2 months ago


Pam Breeding
Pam Breeding
2 months ago

What about JUSTICE FOR CHLOE? What kind of mom would lie about what happened and then admit the truth? That little girl did not deserve to lose her innocent life before she even had a chance to LIVE IT…and to have her die at the hand of the mother who gave birth to her because she was overwhelming poor Kelsey. BS..she knew exactly what the outcome was when she made that descion to strangle the life out of her. She don’t deserve to walk away from what she full willing knew what the outcome of her decion would cause. Chloe… Read more »

Robbin crouse
Robbin crouse
2 months ago

The clarification of your judgment is that you should have been charged with first degree. Murder. But you got lucky. BUT YOUR LITTLE GIRL IS STILL DEAD