Local News

February 14, 2014

Ritenour taken back into custody on murder charges


Alicia Ritenour has been taken back into custody after posting initial bail for charges of first-degree murder and child endangerment resulting in death.

Ritenour, 20, was arrested on Jan. 24 for the death of her 18-month-old daughter, Ava Marie Ritenour.

On Friday, Jan. 24, at approximately 2:11 p.m., the Oskaloosa Police Department received a 911 call from Apartment 224 at the Southern Hills Apartment Complex located at 18th Avenue East in Oskaloosa. Upon arriving at the scene, officers found Ava Ritenour, 18 months old, deceased, according to an Oskaloosa Police Department press release.

An autopsy was performed at the Iowa Office of the State Medical Examiner on the body of Ava Ritneour on Jan. 25 and 26 by Dr. Michele Catellier, who determined the cause of death to be trauma to the head. The manner of death will be classified as a homicide, according to the press release.

Ritenour made her initial court appearance Feb. 5 and total bond for the two charges came to $125,000. Family members raised the amount and she was released from custody.

In a trial information filed on Feb. 13, formal charges of first-degree murder and child endangerment resulting in death were filed. First-degree murder is a class A felony while child endangerment resulting in death is a class B felony. Bond was set for $500,000, and Ritenour was taken back into custody. In the trial information, it stated that "if bond is posted, the defendant shall report to court services for pretrial release supervision within one hour."

Ritenour's parents appealed the new bond amount, but the court took no action on the request.

A public defender has been appointed to Ritenour. She is due to appear in Mahaska County District Court at 9 a.m. March 7.

Herald Editor Duane Nollen can be reached by email at oskynews@oskyherald.com

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