Rogue River woman gets 10 years for trying to kill her daughter
A Rogue River woman will serve 10 years in prison after admitting she made two attempts to kill her pre-teen daughter.
Kyla Kathleen Duncan, 50, was sentenced Wednesday after pleading guilty to two attempted murder charges, admitting to two attempts to poison the child with carbon monoxide — one at her home in the 7000 block of Pleasant Creek Road, and another on a U.S. Forest Service road in a murder-suicide attempt, according to Senior Deputy District Attorney Terry Smith-Norton, who prosecuted the case.
The first murder attempt occurred Feb. 7 of last year, according to Smith-Norton, but was thwarted when a neighbor noticed a hose running from Duncan’s car to the child’s window and questioned Duncan.
Duncan reportedly told the neighbor she was “trying to keep the room warm,” according to Smith-Norton, but the explanation seemed strange to the neighbor.
The next morning, she took her daughter on remote Forest Service roads and hooked a hose from the exhaust into the cabin; however, the murder-suicide attempt was thwarted by another motorist.
She fled the area with her daughter, but Rogue River police, the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office and Oregon State Police caught up with Duncan at her home and took her into custody.
The child was treated at a hospital and released to her father, according to previous news reports.
According to Smith-Norton, Duncan had been involved in a custody battle with the girl’s father prior to the attempts.
“She didn’t want to lose custody, so I think this was her solution to that happening,” Smith-Norton said.
When asked how the child is faring, Smith-Norton said, “It’s a lot to carry around.”
It was the now 13-year-old girl’s first time seeing her mother since the incidents, and during the hearing Duncan had her court-appointed defense lawyer read a four-page letter addressed to the girl.
Smith-Norton said she worked to resolve the case with a negotiated plea agreement because there was “concern about putting the child through a trial.” She said the child is still struggling to reconcile what happened to her.
“It’s really tragic, because no matter what you love your mother,” Smith-Norton said.
As terms of the plea agreement, Duncan will serve 120 months in prison, and will also be ordered to pay restitution to be determined at a future hearing.
Court records show that Duncan was convicted of second-degree arson stemming from a March 2006 incident in the 3500 block of Dodson Road.