Kansas City woman who murdered her eight-year-old son by drowning him in a bathtub and tried to kill her six-year-old son by smothering him has been sentenced to life in prison. Aushena Warren, 34, received the sentence on November 2 after earlier pleading guilty to second degree murder and first degree assault in Platte County Circuit Court.
Platte County Prosecuting Attorney Eric Zahnd said, “Imagine the horror of these two boys, one of whom was drowned by his mother and the other who survived his mother’s murderous intentions. Life in prison was the only fair and just sentence.”
On June 17, 2017, Warren tried to smother her six-year-old son to death while he was laying in bed at their home on North London Avenue in Kansas City. She then drowned her eight-year-old son in a bathtub.
Warren’s husband was at work when the crimes occurred. He received a FaceTime call from his six-year-old son and rushed home. Warren was not there, but he found his oldest son unresponsive in a bathtub full of water.
Emergency personnel declared the boy dead at the scene, and a medical examiner concluded he died of drowning as the result of a homicide.
Passersby saw Warren jump from the Kit Bond bridge at about 9:42 a.m. on the day of the crimes. The Kansas City Fire Department happened to be conducting water rescue training near the bridge, and they rescued Warren. She was treated at a hospital for her injuries.
Warren left a note at the scene of her crimes. It read:
Tell the world I’m sorry. I had to save us from this financial crisis. There was no way to fund our lives and I blame myself for that. I had to save the babies from wondering why their parents had to give them up to family or the system. I’m so sorry. Mom, I’m sorry… [Name redacted], I’m sorry. I love you guys… You’ll never understand this and nothing makes this acceptable…but I had to save the babies. [Husband’s name redacted]… I’m sorry, I blame myself and lack of everything for us landing here.
Warren’s iPhone was searched pursuant to a search warrant. Forensic investigators with the Heart of America Regional Computer Forensics Laboratory found searches including:
“how long does it take to drown”
“how long does it take to suffocate someone”
“mother murders children”
“can pillows smother”
“which kills you faster suffocating or drowning”
“family of mother who drowned children”
Warren’s internet web history revealed searches with the terms “missouri women prison” and “how I became a murderer.”
The victims’ father testified prior to sentencing, saying, “His mother murdered my son at the tender age of eight. . . . He would be 13 this year, in the 7th grade, excelling at anything he’d set his mind to do. Academics, sports, and being a great big brother! He was such a great kid. He was special. There’s no moment, no minute, no hour in the day that I don’t think of him and wish he were here.”
Warren’s attorney argued for a probation sentence, arguing that Warren was beset by mental issues, while Zahnd urged the court to impose a life sentence.
Judge James Van Amburg sentenced Warren to the maximum sentences of life in prison for murder of the eight-year-old child and 15 years in prison for assault of the six-year-old child.
Zahnd said, “Like almost every eight-year-old boy, this murder victim had a lifetime of potential in front of him. It is unbelievably tragic that he did not live to grow into that potential. We can only hope that his surviving little brother will continue to heal from the trauma visited on him and live out his own life of great potential.”
The case was investigated by the Kansas City Police Department with the assistance of the Heart of America Regional Computer Forensics Laboratory. It is being prosecuted by Zahnd and Mark Gibson, first assistant prosecuting attorney.