Jury trial set for women accused in 3-year-old’s death

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The original story has been corrected with updated information.

OKLAHOMA CITY – The jury trial for two women accused in the death of a 3-year-old girl in Oklahoma City is ongoing.

In 2018, police said 3-year-old Lola Caplan was found non-responsive in her home and was rushed to a nearby hospital. Once at the hospital, she was pronounced dead.

“It was discovered that the child had injuries consistent with child abuse,” Officer Megan Morgan, with Oklahoma City Police Department, told KFOR.

The probable cause affidavit states that the child had “extensive bruising” on her body and doctors said her injuries were “possibly the result of physical abuse.”

Authorities learned that the child’s mother, Alexis Caplan, was at work at the time, and that Lola was being cared for by Baylee Sowards.

“[Sowards] reported she and [Lola] had been driving to pick up [Alexis Caplan] from work when [Lola] began coughing. When [Sowards] gave [Lola] a soda to drink, the girl began having a seizure and stopped breathing,” the affidavit states.

Lola Caplan (image cropped from Facebook)

When confronted with evidence of bruising, Sowards reportedly told detectives that she had performed the Heimlich Maneuver on the toddler.

“[Sowards] described hearing [Lola] wheezing from the living room. [Sowards] said when she went to check on the child, [Lola] was choking. [Sowards] said she grabbed [Lola] by the throat, attempting to hold her still so she could look inside the girl’s mouth. When she was unable to see anything in [Lola’s] mouth or throat, [Sowards] performed the Heimlich maneuver and [Lola] coughed out a quarter,” the affidavit states.

Sowards told police that she didn’t tell Alexis Caplan about the incident because she didn’t think she had harmed the girl.

When Alexis Caplan was interviewed, the affidavit states that she had talked to Sowards about “visible injuries she had seen on [Lola.] She also admitted [Lola] only began having the bruising and suspicious injuries after [Sowards] started caring for [Lola] and the two were alone.”

Baylee Sowards

The affidavit also states that Caplan admitted to lying to doctors, saying she was at home when the toddler was burned with coffee, even though she was actually at work.

Alexis Caplan was arrested on a complaint of enabling the physical abuse of a child. Baylee Sowards was arrested on complaints of engaging in physical abuse of a child.

Sowards was ultimately charged with two counts of child abuse and one count of child neglect, while Caplan was charged with enabling child abuse.

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