Lufkin lawyer says Samantha Wideman is innocent

By Jena Johnson - bio | email

ANGELINA COUNTY, TX (KTRE) – An Angelina County woman will soon stand trial in connection with a toddler's death. Samantha Wideman, 25, is charged with injuring Ian Landers, age two.

"It's been two-and-a-half years for this to come to trial and we're wearing this for the baby that can't speak anymore," said Carla Musick, friend of Ian's mother, Tonya Lyons.

Musick wears a baby blue ribbon for Ian who died in September 2007. His father's girlfriend,   Wideman stands trial in connection to his death. Crystal Wimbush has known Wideman since elementary school.

"I don't think she intentionally hurt him, like intentionally meant to kill him," said Wimbush, former friend of Wideman. "I don't think she thought he was going to die, but I think she did abuse him."

The autopsy shows Ian suffered a severe head injury, broken leg and bruises across his body. The coroner ruled it a homicide.

"I hope Ian gets justice whichever way it goes I hope that Ian gets justice," said Musick. "I hope that Samantha is found guilty. But it may not go that way. But either way he had a voice in this court today."

Wideman's attorney, Ryan Deaton, tells me he hopes the court carefully examines the evidence before passing judgement.

"Hopefully the jury will be fair and listen to both sides of the case and not base their decision on outside influences but from what they hear on the witness stand," said Deaton.

He says Wideman is innocent. "I believed her and I still believe her," said Deaton. "That she's innocent."

Friends and family just want the truth. "I know that justice needs to be served for that baby because I did know him and he was a sweet, innocent child and it's horrible, it's just horrible," said Wimbush. "Nobody should ever have to burry their child."

Two-and-a-half years later, Wimbush hopes the trial will give baby Ian the voice he no longer has.

Wideman's trial begins Monday. Deaton expects it to last two weeks.

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