A woman recently convicted of murdering her toddler son J.W. Bader more than thirty years ago has been sentenced to fifteen years in prison. A jury found Catherine Wyman guilty of second degree murder in June. In a Washoe county court this morning, Judge Jerome Polaha handed down her sentence.
During the sentencing hearing, defense attorney Martin Wiener urged the judge to impose the minimum sentence of five years. For two hours he picked apart information included in the sentencing recommendation, claiming it was misleading. But the prosecution reminded the judge of specific testimony given during the trial that detailed the many injures discovered on the body of the three year old victim. Recounting the circumstances of the case judge Polaha decided five years was not enough for Wyman, instead he sentenced her to 15 years behind bars.
Most of this case was built around the testimony of Catherine Wyman's daughter Julie Bader-Dunn, who was 15 at the time of the boy's death. Outside of the courthouse, she told us she's satisfied with the sentence. "I feel a weight has been lifted off my shoulders and I don't have to carry this secret anymore & justice has been found" said Bader-Dunn.
But defense attorney Wiener says he plans to appeal the case. Wiener says Catherine Wyman will be 68 in about 9 days. That means if she serves her entire sentence she will be 83 when she is released, however she should be eligible for parole after five years.