The Perry mother whose baby died after she left the girl in a hot minivan all day is now waiting for a judge’s ruling on her fate. Both sides agreed in the two-day trial that 35-year-old Kari Engholm is a well-liked hospital executive, wife, friend and mother. But, the question to be decided by the judge is if Engholm was reckless in her actions that resulted in her seven-month-old daughter Clare’s death on that hot June day. Engholm’s sister Diane Van Wyngarden spoke for the family after the trial and was optimistic that the prosecution didn’t prove her sister willfully acted to kill her daughter.Those supporters of the hospital executive packed the small Dallas County courtroom in Adel throughout the two-day trial. Most had tears in their eyes as Engholm recounted the fateful day she discovered her baby daughter Clare had died after being left in the hot family minivan.Engholm’s mother Jean Relph in the courtroom during the trial, and said she hurt for her daughter, but thinks they’ll get through. Relph says she hurts for her daughter, but will get through it with love, support and prayers.Van Wyngarden says the support was important in helping Kari through the death of her daughter, and now the trial. She says her sister is struggling through the trial as it’s re-opened horrible wounds.Whatever the court decision, Van Wyngarden says her sister has been “forever changed” by what happened on June 26th. Judge Paul Huscher is expected to make a written ruling within a week on the charges of neglect of a child and involuntary manslaughter against Engholm.
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