Mother of Toddler Killed by Babysitter Charged

Modified: March 23, 2018 2:11pm

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Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn announces that 27-year-old Heather Schoepflin of Delevan has been arraigned by Marilla Town Justice David Wyzykowski on one count of Endangering the Welfare of a Child, a misdemeanor offense.

On March 10, 2017 at a mobile home park on Hemstreet Road in Marilla, the defendant allegedly failed to seek medical care for her 2-year-old son. The child, Ethan Bigham, suffered visible bruising and other injuries after being babysat by then 17-year-old Devon VanDerWege.

In February 2018, VanDerWege pleaded guilty to Manslaughter in the First Degree for causing blunt force trauma that resulted in the death of Ethan Bigham.

Schoepflin is scheduled to return on April 24 at 6 p.m. for further proceedings.

If convicted on all charges, Schoepflin faces up to a year in jail.

Nicholas Texido, Chief of the DA’s Training and Special Projects Bureau, is prosecuting the case.

As are all persons accused of a crime, the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.