Investigation into the charges of baby Chance murder

FORT MYERS, Fla.- WINK News is investigating two of the biggest stories we’ve covered all year–the disappearance of baby Chance Walsh and the killing of Dr. Teresa Sievers.

A legal expert tells WINK News, he’s surprised by the murder charges in both cases.

Let’s start with the heartbreaking case of baby Chance. His parents, Kristen Bury and Joseph Walsh, are now facing first-degree murder charges in the death of their son.

Joseph Walsh made his first appearance in court Wednesday and is being held on no bond.

WINK News uncovered Chance’s mother, Kristen Bury, posted a picture of Chance to Facebook five days after deputies say Chance was killed, acting as if he was still alive.

According to Walsh’s arrest report, the parents were in an argument the morning Chance died.

Bury told deputies Walsh struck Chance repeatedly. Deputies say Walsh said he was going to bash Chance’s head into the ground at one point during the argument.

After Chance was killed, the report says the couple left their dead baby in his crib and eventually buried his decomposing body.

WINK News wanted to find out why the suspects in this case qualify for first-degree murder charges when the two main suspects in the Teresa Sievers murder are only facing second-degree murder charges.

“The main difference that you are going to find between a first-degree murder and a second-degree murder case is going to be the premeditation,” said local defense attorney Lance Dunford who is not affiliated with either case.

Dunford says it could mean authorities have more evidence of premeditation in the murder of Chance Walsh, even if it’s just a short span of time.

“This is an interesting aspect of the law, there is no exact time frame that dictates how much time must pass before an instance,” said Dunford.

In the Sievers case, Sheriff Mike Scott says both Jimmy Rodgers and Wayne Wright were seen in surveillance video at a Lee County Walmart one day before Sievers was found murdered.

The Sievers murder could have also been premeditated but,”We don’t know why they came down to the house, we don’t know if they were invited or it was some kind of deal that went bad,” explained Dunford.

Second-degree murder involves an act of rage and a depraved mind, not necessarily premeditation.
If convicted, the charge could carry a life sentence. If someone is convicted of first-degree felony murder, they could face life in prison.