Ronald Saunders ll had a
violent past, yet he managed to insert himself into the life of
Mashanna Bachuss and her children. In the year 2005, Ronald had been
under investigation by Children's services in North Carolina. Ronald
had a girlfriend with a son, that child missed three days of daycare
and when he finally showed up, he has an eye that was bloodshot and
bruised, he had bruising behind his ears and on his forehead. This
child was removed from that home and though he was never charged with
any crime related to the bruises on that child, he never suffered any
further injuries after being removed from that home.
While serving in the U.S. Marines in the year 2007, Ronald was
convicted on three different occasions for assaults on other marines.
Two of these attacks were Ronald binding the other Marine and then
hitting them and the other was when Ronald choked another Marine until
he passed out and then dropped him on a cement deck, fracturing the
mans skull. On another occasion, he choked another Marine, though that
charged was dismissed.
The year 2008, found Ronald
living with Mashanna and on the morning of December 5, Mashanna was ill
with a kidney stone. Mashanna was in sever pain and had just gone to
sleep that morning when one of her daughters brought her son Conner
into the room because he wanted to see his mother. Ronald told the
children that their mother was sick and needed her sleep so the
children left the room. When Mashanna was feeling better that morning,
she got up and was going to make breakfast for the children before they
went to church. Ronald came into the room and asked if Conner had been
hurt the night before and Mashanna told him no. Mashanna went to her
sons room and came back out carrying him, he was unresponsive and she
screamed for Ronald to help her before calling 911. Conner was
transported to the hospital by ambulance.
Hospital staff found injuries on Conner including internal bleeding,
severe brain damage, large bruises on his back and 114 puncture wounds,
a thumbtack was removed from the top of his stomach. Conner was a
strong little boy who fought for five days to survive with his family
by his side. Doctors did an MRI and he was found to be brain dead so it
was suggested to Mashanna that life support be removed from Conner.
Mashanna was in agreement, not wanting Conner to suffer needlessly,
though she asked that he remain on life support long enough for her
family to come and tell him good bye. Conner died in the arms of his
mother who then held him until the Medical Examiner come to take him.
It was said that Conner died of suffocation.
Ronald had been a suspect from the beginning since he was the only
adult with Conner when his was injured. Police did not arrest him at
first, they wanted to build up their case against him. Mashanna and
Ronald were no longer together, though he harassed and stalked her,
calling her and following her around town until December 23, 2010 when
Police felt they had enough evidence and he was arrested and charged
with the murder of Conner, his bail was set at $1 million dollars.
Ronald was not willing to accept the blame for what was done to Conner,
he blamed the daycare, his sisters and even Conner's mother. Ronald
eventually told another inmate that he had been asleep on the floor
next to Conner and in his sleep, Conner had kicked him in the back.
Ronald says he lost control and ended up holding Conner's head down,
having one of his own legs across Conner''s back and the other across
his legs and that he had a pin in his hand when he finally came around
and realized what he was doing. This inmate wrote down what he had been
told and it wasn't submitted to the court until the second day of the
trial and by then it was too late, though he did agree to testify if
needed, in any further trials against Ronald with the one request that
he receive protection from him.
In 2012, Defense Attorney David Bundrick claimed that the blame was put
on Ronald from the start and it was never even considered that one of
the children in the home may have been to blame for Conner's death.
David said that the Police were set on prosecuting Ronald so they only
investigated him and no one else. David claimed that there was evidence
that proved his client was innocent, but that evidence was being
ignored. Assistant Commonwealth Attorney Jim Harris said that the only
person who could have killed Conner, was Ronald
The jury was hung in the case since there were no witnesses to what had
happened, so Ronald was not convicted. I wonder why there HAD
to be a witness, so many other
cases are prosecuted and convicted without a witness. Prosecutors
to make sure he was sent to prison, so Ronald was given a plea deal,
along with the Alford Plea which allows him to say he was not guilty,
but knows that the evidence against him is strong enough for a
conviction. The plea deal was guilty to second degree manslaughter for
which Ronald received only ten years in prison. Ronald would be
eligible for parole in 2012 and a petition was set up to hopefully stop
that from happening.
In March of 2014, Mashanna was trying to get longer sentences for those
convicted of killing while abusing them. It was shocking to her that
under the laws at this time, Ronald could get out of prison as early as
December of 2014:
"He was a sweet little
boy, extremely lovable, he was pretty much like
of our family"
A potential new law, called Conner's Law, would make causing a child's
death while abusing them would be considered a Class B Felony which
would be a mandatory sentence of 10 to 20 years with a mandatory 85% of
the time served. Why not make it a LONGER
sentence, like LIFE
, with 100%
of the time served? Why not choose a name that represents ALL
children who have been abused to
death and make it a WORLD WIDE
law to protect them all? When are child abuser/killers REALLY
going to be
held accountable for their actions? Getting out of prison at all should
be an option!
I am unable to find any information on Conner's Law actually becoming a
law. I mean no disrespect to anyone when I repeat my views on naming
laws after children who have been abused to death. We don't need any
more laws named after these children, we need the laws that are already
on the books, to be followed, we need to STOP allowing child
abusers/killers to plea out of what they have done, we need ONE law,
that law should say that if you abuse a child to death, you go to jail
for the rest of your life, no plea deals, no parole, no second chances.
These children are not given a second chance, their killers don't
deserve any better.
I would like to commend those who are in charge of the Facebook page
"Conner's Coalition". So often a page is made for a child and then
after a couple of years, it just sits there, inactive. I just checked
on that page and it says that two hours ago a post was made and they
are updating with posts about other children as well. I think that is
true dedication to a cause and I am sure that Conner would be proud
that his page is still up, active and being used for its intended use.
The Paducah Sun
December 13, 2010
Bachuss, 2, of Paducah, Ky., passed away Friday, December 10, 2010, at
Kosair Children's Hospital in Louisville, Ky. He was born in Paducah,
Conner attended Lovelaceville United Methodist Church.
is survived by his mother, Mashanna Bachuss of Paducah, Ky.; his
father, Jeremy Bachuss of Paducah, Ky.; his sisters, Lakyn Bachuss,
Olivia Bachuss and Vada Bachuss, all of Paducah, Ky.; his brother,
Chandler Bachuss of Paducah, Ky.; his grandparents, David and Patsy
Edwards of Paducah, Ky., Tommy and Janet Bachuss of Paducah, Ky., David
and Sherre O'Donley of Paducah, Ky.; his great-grandparents, Mary
Greenwood of Paducah, Ky., Pauline Edwards of Woodlawn, Va., Frank and
Edith Carter of Galax, Va., and Mary and Joseph Traylor of Melber, Ky.;
his aunts and uncles, Tanya Stauble of Houston, Texas, Jonathan Bachuss
of Paducah, Ky., Sean O'Donley of Elizabethtown, Ky., and Justin
Elliott of Paducah, Ky.; several great-uncles, great-aunts; and several
Funeral services will be at 1:00 p.m. Wednesday,
December 15, 2010, at Milner & Orr Funeral Home of Paducah with the
Rev. Eddie Lee and Mr. Terrell Lee officiating. Burial will follow at
Visitation will be from 5:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. Tuesday, December 14,
2010, at Milner & Orr Funeral Home of Paducah.
of sympathy may take the form of contributions to Conner Bachuss
Benefit Fund, c/o Paducah Bank, 555 Jefferson St., Paducah, KY 42001 or
www.rememberconner.com, c/o BB&T Bank, 1601 Broadway, Paducah, KY
Thank you goes out to Shanon who cared enough to send this story to me
so that Conner could be honored here among the many Angels who have
left this world too soon.
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