Request Made to Move Trial Involving Toddler Death

By Beacon Staff

GREAT FALLS – An attorney for a woman accused of killing her 2-year-old son and hiding his body in the trunk of her car has asked a judge to move her murder trial out of Great Falls.

Larry LaFountain, Summer ManyWhiteHorses’ attorney, filed the motion earlier this month in Cascade County District Court. He said news reports have “created an atmosphere of hostility and conviction” against his client that threatens her right to a fair and impartial jury.

ManyWhiteHorses, 31, has pleaded not guilty to deliberate homicide and evidence tampering in the death of her son James, whose body was found Sept. 5 in the trunk of a car. Investigators believe it remained in the trunk throughout the summer while ManyWhiteHorses drove around the state with her 11-year-old daughter.

In the motion, LaFountain accused prosecutors of leaking autopsy findings to the media prematurely and of arguing the case in the press. Some of the media reports included information about ManyWhiteHorses’ criminal history, which LaFountain said could influence jurors.

“Community reaction has been to have the defendant executed,” he wrote in the motion. “The community reaction has been that the defendant is a ‘sadistic, worthless child-killer.'”

Cascade County Attorney John Parker said a change of venue is not necessary because the news reports have been accurate. He added that there is no evidence that media coverage has biased the community to the point ManyWhiteHorses couldn’t get a fair trial in Cascade County.

District Judge Julie Macek will preside over a hearing Friday to discuss the motion.