Shawnee’s mother who pleaded guilty in toddler’s death is missing court and a warrant has been issued

A warrant was issued this week for a Shawnee mother who pleaded guilty last year to a fire that killed her 17-month-old son.

Karlie Phelps, 28, was scheduled to appear in court on Monday for a parole violation, but she never showed up, according to the Johnson County District Attorney’s Office.

In August 2022, Phelps pleaded guilty to charges of manslaughter and child endangerment. She was sentenced to 19 years, but upon sentencing, the court granted her request for provisional departure.

She was sentenced to three years probation according to a press release from the Johnson County prosecutor.

The fire was intentionally started by Phelps’ ex-boyfriend, Nicholas Ecker, according to court records. Ecker, who was the child’s father, had also been involved in two previous incidents of alleged domestic violence at the home.

On Feb. 13, 2022, Phelps left his home to visit a friend, leaving the toddler home alone, according to court records. When she returned, the house was on fire with the child still inside.

Evidence from a Ring camera that Phelps used to monitor the toddler and other investigative findings pointed to Ecker being responsible for the crime, according to court documents.

He is currently awaiting trial on charges of aggravated arson and first degree murder for the death of their child.

The Johnson County District Attorney’s Office said it will be up to a judge to determine whether Phelps will be charged for the missed court date and determine how she will spend the remainder of her sentence.

The Star’s Anna Spoerre contributed to this report

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