Trial delayed for Benton City mom charged in baby death

HERALD STAFFMarch 21, 2013 

A Benton City mom agreed Thursday to delay her trial date on allegations she caused her toddler's death when she left the girl unsupervised in the bathtub with another young child.

Wendi Finkbeiner-Setzer, 39, now is scheduled to face a jury May 20 on one count of second-degree manslaughter.

She is charged in Benton County Superior Court.

Prosecutors claim that Piper K. Finkbeiner, 1, and her 2-year-old sister were left alone in the tub Nov. 5 while their mother went into another room to work on a computer. The water overflowed from the tub, soaking throw rugs in the bathroom and the carpet under the door, court documents said.

The mom told Benton County sheriff's deputies they were alone for no more than five minutes in about 10 to 12 inches of water, and questioned if the older girl might have turned on the water.

Finkbeiner-Setzer's teen son discovered the toddler had drowned when he checked on the girls after getting home, documents said.

Piper Finkbeiner was taken off life support Nov. 12 after Seattle doctors determined she was brain dead.

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