Megan Boswell pleads not guilty, state to decide by December if death penalty will be on the table

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SULLIVAN COUNTY, Tenn. (WJHL) – Megan Boswell, the mother of deceased toddler Evelyn Boswell, pleaded not guilty to killing her daughter on Friday.

Boswell was arraigned by video in Sullivan County Criminal Court after she was indicted by a grand jury on 19 charges, including two counts of felony murder.

Boswell pleaded not guilty to the 19 charges.

Brad Sproles, Boswell’s attorney, filed a motion for a change of venue due to the extensive media coverage of the case in the region.

Judge James Goodwin scheduled Boswell’s next court appearance for December 3 at 1:30 p.m.

“On that date, the state is supposed to determine whether or not there’ll be enhanced punishment, which would be the death penalty or life without parole or not,” District Attorney General Barry Staubus said.

Staubus said the state has not decided if they will seek enhanced punishment for Boswell at this time.

The penalty for first-degree murder is a life sentence, according to Staubus.

“It can also on certain occasions, carry the death penalty or life without parole so we have to announce to the court what we’ll be seeking in this case,” Staubus said.

Staubus said when coming to the decision to seek enhanced punishment, the state has to look at a variety of factors.

Sproles also filed a motion for a bill of particulars to receive clarification on Boswell’s aggravated child abuse and neglect charges.

“Both of those based on, what they refer to as ‘serious bodily injury,’ but it doesn’t- that’s all we know. So we’ve asked the state to clarify those statements, as to what ‘bodily injury’ they are referring to,” he said.

Boswell remains in the Sullivan County Jail on a $1 million bond. Sproles said he has talked with Megan since she was indicted for murder, but a COVID-19 outbreak at the jail has limited their meetings.

News Channel 11 asked Sproles how Megan has reacted to her charges.

“I’d rather not say at this point,” he said. “She obviously is charged with as serious a crime as she can be. So you know, she’s very serious about it and understands the gravity of what she’s facing.”

You can watch News Channel 11’s live stream of the arraignment below:

Boswell was charged with two counts of felony murder and the following charges in connection with Evelyn’s death:

— One count of aggravated child abuse
— One count of aggravated child neglect
— One count of tampering with evidence
— One count of abuse of corpse
— One count of failure to report a death under suspicious, unusual, or unnatural circumstances
— 12 counts of false reports

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