INDIANA (KDKA) – An Indiana County woman is headed to trial in the drowning death of her young son.

Tonya Thomas, 26, cried in the courtroom during her preliminary hearing.

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Her son, 13-month-old Ryden, drowned in the bathtub back in February after being left alone with his 2- and 3-year-old siblings.

In May, a judge dropped the homicide charge citing a lack of evidence. But prosecutors filed the charges again a week later and presented additional evidence at today’s preliminary hearing.

A case worker from the Care Center of Indiana County says there was an overwhelming concern about the lack of supervision in the Thomas’ White Township home.

There had been a previous incident in the home involving the bathtub, which resulted in water safety classes and a warning to CYS.

In addition, a state trooper testified that Thomas walked past the bathroom and saw only two of he three children sitting up in the tub, but continued to go downstairs to do laundry and fix the kids a snack.

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Thomas is out on bond.

Defendants in Pennsylvania who are facing homicide charges can only be granted bond if prosecutors tell the judge that they are not planning to seek a first or second degree murder conviction.

Thomas, who was pregnant with a fourth child at the time of the drowning, is allowed supervised visits with that child.

Her other two children have been placed.

Wesley Thomas, the child’s father, is facing charges of endangering the welfare of children. He waived his preliminary hearing on those charges back in May.


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