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Mom Pleaded Guilty to Killing Her Disabled Son, But Murder Charges Are Dropped

A mother who murdered her physically and mentally disabled son by leaving him out in a field to die of exposure pleaded guilty to involuntary man slaughter. Murder charges were dropped, and now the mom may do as little as 120 days in a rehabilitation program for substance abuse.

Her family and attorney are glad the mother is getting a second chance at life.

Kimberly Lightwine was originally charged with second-degree murder when her 19-year-old son, Austin Anderson, was found dead in a field in Missouri. The 43-year-old mother was found lying next to her son. Both were in nothing but their underwear.

Lightwine was alive, but Austin had passed away. According to an autopsy, he was dehydrated, had a swollen brain and had not been given a life-sustaining medication he needed. Austin was autistic and blind and relied upon his mother for care.

When found, Lightwine was suffering from a broken leg and broken jaw. She told authorities at the time that she had driven her son into the field with the intent to let him die.

"I killed my kid," she told police when she was taken in for questioning. "It's my fault... You should charge me with murder right now for my son's death, and I'm not joking."

According to Lightwine's sister, Stephanie Saloga, and her attorney, all is not as it seems. They say the mother and son had been abducted. Lightwine was drugged, and the two were left for dead.

"When she made the comment that she killed her son, she was meaning that she wasn't able to get up off the ground to care for him and attend to his needs," Saloga insists. "Anybody who knows my sister knows that she loves that boy more than life itself. She would never, ever hurt him."

The family says Lightwine knows the identity of her abductors, but she's not sure about the motivation behind the attack. She believes it's possible the attack has something to do with her past. Lightwine has a history of drug abuse.

Saloga says the Sheriff's Office in Polk County has brushed her off when she attempted to give them more information on the people believed to be behind the abduction. According to the Sheriff's Office, Lightwine is the only suspect in the child's death.

The family of Austin's father also believes that there is foul play here. “We believe there’s more to the story,” said Austin's aunt, Diana Cope. “We hope they don’t stop looking for whoever really did it.”

“(Austin Anderson) never came to his dad’s home abused,” Cope insisted. “In her right mind she would never harm him — never. Never in a million years.”

Cope wonders how the mother sustained broken bones if Lightwine just brought her son, who could barely walk, to die in a field. “None of the story adds up... Her leg was literally crushed — not just broken.”

Jason Coatney, Lightwine's defense attorney, says his client has no memory of how she and her son ended up in the field. He believes his client was also a victim. "I was pleased that the state was agreeable to this," he said. "Frankly, I think it's the right thing to do."

Lightwine's Facebook page is all about her son. Before his death, the mother proclaimed, "Without my boy I am nothing. With him... I am everything! One proud Momma rite [sic] here."

Since his death, it has become a shrine to the 19-year-old disabled boy It's full of photos of himself and his mom.

Source: Daily Mail
Photos: Bolivar Herald-Free Press, KY3

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