A Scott County judge on Tuesday reduced bond for a Davenport woman who is a suspect in the death of an infant at a daycare.

Angela Marxen, 55, represented by attorneys Hanna & Ruud, LLC, earlier pleaded not guilty to all charges against her, including first-degree murder, children endangerment – death and child endangerment.

Marxen, along with her attorney and the judge, appeared via video court Tuesday afternoon.

Previously, bond was set at $1 million for Marxen, who ran a LeClaire daycare where she admitted dropping a baby who died in February 2020.

Tuesday’s court appearance

“In this case, we are asking for a reduction of 50 percent. In addition to that, we are also asking she be allowed to post the bond with 10 percent to the clerk of court,” Steve Hanna, Marxen’s attorney, said at the bond hearing.  

Hanna pointed out Marxen is a lifelong resident of the Quad Cities. “She’s really not a threat to the community at all,” said Hanna, who added she was working at a hotel.  

“She has cooperated with authorities from the very beginning,” he said. A lower bond would allow her to go home so she can participate in her defense and take care of her health needs, Hanna said, adding she would not be in the daycare business anymore.  

Gil Carnegie, with the Scott County Attorney’s office, asked the bond to remain as set. “This is a Class A felony, murder in the first degree, and the defendant is accused of killing an infant,” he said.

Also, the potential penalty is life in prison “which raises a substantial flight risk,” Carnegie said.

There are two principle reasons to set bond, Telleen said. “One, to ensure the defendant appears for court for trial, for the pretrial proceedings.” The other, he said, is to protect the community from any further danger that might be posed if the defendant gets out in the community.

“Here we have a woman with longstanding ties to the community, a lack of any significant prior criminal history … presumably the defendant has family ties to the community,” Telleen said. “Frankly, I don’t see there is a flight risk here.”

“She’s no longer providing care for children. She has been cooperative with authorities.”

The Iowa Constitution does provide quite clearly that excessive bond should not be imposed, he added.

Telleen reduced the bond to $500,000, and said Marxen can post 10 percent “or it could be surety.” (A surety is an organization or person that assumes the responsibility of paying a debt in case the debtor defaults or can’t make the payments.)

The incident

About 3:15 p.m. Feb. 5, 2020, LeClaire police responded to the daycare on Frontier Court in LeClaire for an “infant in distress,” said a news release.

First responders saw a 5-month-old girl who “appeared to be unresponsive with labored breathing.” The baby was immediately transported to a local hospital, where her condition continued to worsen, the release says.

The baby then was airlifted to Stead Family Children’s Hospital in Iowa City, Iowa, where doctors saw she had a fractured skull and a brain bleed. The infant died four days later on Feb. 9, 2020, at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.

On Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020, Marxen admitted that on Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020, she dropped the infant while she was carrying her.

Emergency responders were not notified until four hours after the fall, and 45 minutes after Marxen admitted she knew the child “wasn’t acting correctly,” an arrest affidavit says.

As of 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Marxen still was listed among the inmates in Scott County Jail.