Jennifer Bagley

A 29-year-old Licking woman was ordered to trial last week in the drowning deaths of her two children, ages 7 and 4.

Jennifer Bagley will appear May 4 for a formal arraignment on two counts of involuntary manslaughter following a preliminary hearing last week that at one point had her laying her head on the table in front of her.

A coroner’s inquest last month ruled that Bagley, who is held in the county jail, was criminally negligent for the deaths of her two sons, Jesse James Bagley, 7, and Wyatt Earp Bagley, 4, in August 2009 in the Big Piney River near Licking.

Three law enforcement officers were called to the stand by Texas County Prosecutor Mike Anderson. Bagley sat quietly at the defense table until photos of the bodies of the children in a boat appeared on an overhead projector. Bagley began crying, laid her head on the table and rocked in her chair.

Bagley, whose hands and feet were shackled, was already in jail on an unrelated matter when the Texas County charges were filed. At one point the proceedings stopped when Associate Circuit Judge Doug Gaston asked Bagley if she was sleeping after laying her head on the table. Gaston told her to keep her head up and explained she could take part in her defense by talking with her attorney, who is public defender Brian Woosley.

Texas County Coroner Tom Whittaker, Texas County Sheriff Carl Watson and Missouri State Highway Patrol Investigator Warren Widemann testified.

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