Trial begins in death of 4-year-old Summer Phelps - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Trial begins in death of 4-year-old Summer Phelps

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Summer Phelps Summer Phelps
Adriana Lytle Adriana Lytle
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  • Lytle ruled competent to take stand in daughter's death

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    Monday, October 13 2008 12:09 PM EDT2008-10-13 17:09:55 GMT
    Summer PhelpsSummer Phelps
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    SPOKANE, Wash. - A judge ruled Monday that Jonathan D. Lytle, charged in the death of 4-year old Summer Phelps in March 2007, is competent to take the stand in his trial, set to begin next month. Jonathan and his wife Adriana Lytle are charged with torturing, beating and killing their child. >>INSIDE: More Info | Link to Court Documents>>

SPOKANE, Wash. - The trial for Jonathan Lytle, the man accused of killing of his 4-year-old girl by abuse, is scheduled to begin Monday in Spokane.

Lytle is charged in connection to the march 2007 death of Summer Phelps.  His wife, Adriana pleaded guilty to homicide by abuse back in July and now faces 20 to 26 years in prison. Both Jonathan and Adriana are accused of torturing, beating and eventually killing the four-year-old girl.

Mr. Lytle's trial was given the go-ahead earlier this month when a judge ruled, after hearing from a State psychologist, that he was mentally competent to stand trial.

According to court documents, Jon Lytle said during the day of Summer's death, the girl had received discipline for urinating on the floor and being defiant. She had been made to wash items in the bathtub.

Later in the evening while the girl was again washing items out in the tub, Adriana Lytle had left the room and when she returned, found her unresponsive in the water.

The child died about midnight after Jonathan Lytle rushed the 4-year-old girl to the emergency room at Deaconess Medical Center.

The couple admitted in the document to using a shock collar on the girl, beating her with a belt, and making her stand in uncomfortable positions while washing out urine soaked items in the bathtub, and dunking her head under water when she worked too slowly.