July 14, 2007
Here are summaries of some of the injuries and reports documenting Tyler DeLeon's troubled life.
1988: Carole Ann DeLeon moves to Nine Mile Falls from Wyoming with biological sons John and Joe and foster daughter Mary Shuhart.
April 25, 1988: Child Protective Services documents an allegation that DeLeon and her then-boyfriend, Chris Wear, bound the wrists of Mary, who was 12 at the time, and left her in the basement overnight as punishment for eating three packages of string cheese. A physician finds rope burns on Mary's wrists, belt marks on her buttocks, and bruises on her face and thigh. The record states that Mary was "tormented, treated without regard to human dignity … (and) belittled."
1996: Carole DeLeon applies for and is granted a state license to be a foster parent. State officials later say that they would not have issued that license had they known about the 1988 reports. Those records had inadvertently been destroyed.
May 29, 1998: Four-month-old Tyler, whose last name at birth is redacted in court records, is placed in the care of Carole DeLeon at her home at 5608 McKenzie Road outside Deer Park.
January 1999: Carole DeLeon reports that Tyler's hand is slammed in a wooden door at day care.
May 10, 1999: Tyler is seen by a doctor for a spiral fracture of his leg. Carole DeLeon tells a doctor that he threw himself backward into a wall. CPS investigators don't investigate the claim until September.
Sept. 15, 1999: Tyler is referred to his doctor by CPS for possible abuse because of the number of his injuries and current bruises. However, the doctor says the bruises on Tyler's head and leg are typical of a little boy.
April 10, 2000: Carole DeLeon adopts Tyler, whose last name becomes DeLeon.
July 12, 2000: The state places 2-year-old Steven Miller in the care of Carole DeLeon.
March 28, 2001: Three-year-old Tyler weighs 25 pounds and is below the 3rd percentile for his age, meaning that 97 percent of children his age weigh more. Because of his lack of growth, a bone age study is done and finds that Tyler's size is comparable to an 18-month-old.
November 2002: Tyler tells school officials that Carole DeLeon pushed him and he fell into a dresser, cutting his head, court records state. DeLeon tells school officials she tied the boy's hands behind his back so he would not tear out stitches he received after the fall.
August 2003: Carole DeLeon takes her other children to Disneyland and leaves Tyler in someone else's care for 10 days. In less than two weeks, Tyler gains 7 pounds, according to court records.
October 2004: The nurse at Lake Spokane Elementary School sends two faxes to Tyler's physician asking whether the tiny boy had any fluid restrictions, as reported by Carole DeLeon. The nurse gets no response.
Oct. 15, 2004: Steven Miller leaves DeLeon's home. Over the next four months, he gains 18 pounds and grows 2.5 inches.
Jan. 4, 2005: CPS receives a report from the school that Tyler has bruises on his nose, both cheeks and right eye. Tyler said he fell down the stairs. The agency, which at the time had a policy to make a home visit within 10 days of a possible report of abuse, did not visit the home, according to state records.
Jan. 13, 2005: Carole DeLeon calls 911 from her job in Spokane. A helicopter rushes Tyler to the hospital from the rural Stevens County home. Tyler is declared dead.
Feb. 3, 2006: The state Department of Social and Health Services announces the findings of a fatality review where it blames a pattern of deception by Carole DeLeon and the agency's own problems for failing to remove Tyler from a cycle of harm. The 10-member fatality review panel evaluated reams of reports generated before and after Tyler's death. "The committee found that Tyler DeLeon's case was remarkable because there were so many professionals involved with his physical, emotional and psychological care, and no one realized the extent of the peril he was in at his adoptive home," the report states.
July 17, 2006: Then-Stevens County Prosecutor Jerry Wetle files second-degree murder charges against Carole DeLeon in connection with Tyler's death.
Feb. 6: Superior Court Judge Al Nielson orders Carole DeLeon into jail for violating his July 25, 2006, order prohibiting contact with any of the children who had been in her care. DeLeon had been using CPS investigator Dwayne Thurman to deliver cards, toys, clothes, books, candy, cookies, toothpaste and shampoo to her other adoptive son and daughter.
Feb. 20: Stevens County Prosecutor Tim Rasmussen upgrades the charge against DeLeon from second-degree murder to homicide by abuse, which carries the same potential penalty as a first-degree murder charge.
Friday: Prosecutors drop the homicide charge and allow Carole DeLeon to enter Alford pleas to two counts of criminal mistreatment. She faces up to six years in prison in a sentencing hearing July 20 in Colville.
Thomas Clouse/Staff writer