Behlke's father, Butts' sister react to homicide charges against Amanda Butts

By: WEAU 13 News Staff and Joe Nelson Email
By: WEAU 13 News Staff and Joe Nelson Email
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- "If it comes down to it, it's my kids over anybody, it doesn't matter how it is, that's how it is in my heart, my kids over anybody," said Robert Behlke.

He says he stands behind that statement, stands behind his daughter, and based on what he read from the medical examiner on Monday, means he no longer stands by his girlfriend.

"I can't stand by anybody that would do harm to my daughter," he said.

He says he could not even walk into the courtroom after learning what the medical examiner had to say about his daughter's death. Facts that do not line up with what Amanda Butts told him.

"She said the bruises had formed from her doing CPR," he said. "If she in fact was the cause of all that she covered her tracks very well. She at no point admitted any guilt to me, at no point ever admitted anything that would even change or sway me backing her up."

"I do love my sister, I just gotta separate that from myself right now," said Trena Smith, Amanda Butts' sister.

Smith has known Amanda her entire life. But says she too cannot stand behind her sister with the medical examiner's facts in front of her.

"Once I read it, I knew for sure, I knew that when I talked to my sister something was wrong," she said. "Just the way you would think the way somebody would explain to you, like a baby's death would happen, you would think they would be more emotional about it. I guess I can't say that I've never been through it before, but I guess she just didn't seem like Amanda."

She says she had that gut feeling that Amanda may have been involved in young Alexis' death but just could not come to terms with it.

"Alexis may not have been my blood niece but in my mind and forever she will be the little niece that I will do her hair and sing with her, she loved to sing," she added.

And Robert, who was already trying to come to terms with a tragedy, now has one more thing on his mind, left only with memories as an escape.

"One thing I've always did to her when she was a baby was sing to her and I caught her doing it numerous times before her passing, and she'd sing to me and pat my back," Behlke said. "And that's probably the one thing I will miss the most because that let me know she loved me."

A funeral fund has been set up in Alexis' name. For more information about donating, click on the link under "Related Links" at the bottom of this page.
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(WEAU) – Charges have now been filed against the woman arrested last week in the death of a 22-month-old girl.

Online court records show Amanda Butts, 22, is charged with first degree reckless homicide in Trempealeau County.

Butts appeared in Trempealeau County court Monday where her bond was set at $200,000.

On July 25th, Osseo police arrested Butts in the death of Alexis Behlke. She was arrested without incident.

According to the criminal complaint, the medical examiner said Alexis Behlke died from acute intoxication due to the combined effects of oxycodone, an antihistamine and an anti-depressant.

The examiner says Alexis also lost consciousness and had a brain injury. The medical examiner also found bruises on the child, along with blunt force trauma to the girl's head, torso, and extremities.

We talked with Alexis' father, Robert Behlke and Amanda's sister, Trena Smith. Both say based on these findings, they will not stand by Amanda.

"If the statement is true and that's what she said, I can't stand by that. I can't stand by anybody that would do harm to my daughter, I have another daughter with her. I have the two sons and her own son, I wouldn't feel comfortable.. no, I can't stand by that," said Robert Behlke.

"I went to see her myself after church one Sunday and asked her to tell me what happened and in the way she told me, I knew right then and there in my gut that this, she did something she did on accident, impulse, rage or anger. She had 5 kids by herself or she did something and didn't know how to get out of it," said Amanda's sister.

A funeral fund has been set up in Alexis' name. For more information about donating, click here.

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"She would sing with me and pat my back because when she was a baby that's how I was with her," said Robert Behlke, the father of 22-month-old Alexis Behlke. He shared this memory of his daughter, Alexis Behlke, during an interview with WEAU on June 23rd, one day after his daughter died.

On Thursday, Behlke's girlfriend, 22-year-old Amanda Butts, was arrested on suspicion of first degree homicide in connection with Alexis Behlke's death.

During the June 23rd interview with WEAU, he said he believed it was prior health problems that led to his daughter's death and stood by his girlfriend.

"I never saw Amanda physically harm my children, her children, in fairness to her and fairness to everyone no, I honestly think Amanda is a perfectly safe and good mother," he said. "I wouldn't have left my children in her care if I thought she was anything else."

He goes on to say he wants to think of his daughter in a better place, knowing she is safe.

"I just wanna know she is in a better place, I know no one can harm her if it was harm," he said.

He says his kids, including one he shares with Amanda Butts, were taken away at the time for safety since they were home when the death happened. Asked what his priorities were at the time, he said his children and girlfriend.

"I wanna get my kids back, obviously keep my girlfriend out of jail, out of prison that kind of life, you know I want to protect her she is all I got right now," he said.

And at the time, made it clear he was standing by Amanda.

"I don't want people to speculate and go the wrong direction," he said. "Accidents happen and I don't blame no one for it and I don't want anyone to blame her for it," he said.

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OSSEO, Wis. (WEAU) – After a month-long investigation, police have arrested a woman in the death of a 22-month-old girl.

On Thursday, Osseo police arrested Amanda Butts, 22, of Osseo for First Degree Reckless Homicide in the death of Alexis Behlke. She was arrested without incident. No charges have been filed in the case. Osseo Police Chief Timothy Wilson says Butts is in the Trempealeau County Jail, and the soonest Butts could appear in court would be Monday.

During an interview in June, Behlke’s father Robert told WEAU 13 News that his girlfriend Amanda was watching his daughter and found the girl unconscious. She was taken to the hospital, where she later died.

On Thursday, Wilson declined to tell WEAU 13 News whether he had received autopsy results on Alexis Behlke. He also did not say what led up to the girl’s death. Wilson says the case is still ongoing.
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OSSEO, Wis. (OSSEO POLICE DEPARTMENT NEWS RELEASE) - On 06/22/ 13 @ approximately 0144 hours, 22 month old, Alexis Behlke was found to be not breathing by a caregiver, 911 was called and she was taken to the Mayo Hospital in Osseo, and later pronounced dead.

Through a lengthy investigation by the Osseo Police Department, the Trempealeau County Sheriff's Department, the Trempealeau County Coroner’s office, today at approximately 1150 hours, officers went to W15715 US Highway 10, in the Township of Garfield, in Jackson County, State of Wisconsin. The Osseo Police department along with investigators from the Trempealeau County Sheriff' s Department and the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department, arrested Amanda Butts (of Osseo) for 1st degree reckless homicide.

This is still an on-going investigation, and we are unable to release any further information at this time, but more information will be provided as the case allows.

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OSSEO, Wis. (WEAU)--It could be weeks until we know the cause of death of a toddler in Trempealeau County. Osseo Police Chief, Timothy Wilson, says the results of an autopsy on Alexis Behlke could take 3 to 4 weeks to get back.

The 22-month-old girl died Saturday. The girl's father says his girlfriend was watching his daughter when she noticed Alexis had stopped breathing.

She died a short time later at a hospital. The death is still under investigation.
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OSSEO, Wisc. (WEAU) - An autopsy could soon give a family and police answers after a 22-month old girl died on Saturday.

Alexis Behlke was given CPR but later died at an Osseo hospital.

“I got to Osseo right as she kind of gave her last breaths. I got to see her right at her last moments,” Alexis’s father, Robert Behlke said. “That's not my little girl. My little girl was the angel that I always remembered; The little girl that would come up and sit on daddy's lap and sing to me and pat me on the back. The memories that I hold and that's the way I want everybody to remember her.”

Robert Behlke said his girlfriend Amanda was watching Alexis and found her unconscious, thinking she had been sleeping.

Three days later, he said he and his family still don't know what happened.

“We don't have any reports yet of autopsy or anything like that, so we don't know exactly. They're still investigating,” Behlke said.

He said Alexis had been pale and vomited that morning and had swelling in her hands before that.

With little information coming from police, Behlke said he's convinced his little girl had a serious medical condition.

“She was constantly sick … “When I took her in (to the doctor’s office), I always got, 'We can't find nothing wrong with her.’” “I think they overlooked something.

“I kind of feel like a piece of my world's missing.” “She'd sing to me and pat my back because when she was a baby, that's how I was with her. I'd sing to her and pat her back,” Behlke said.

“I hope people don't think the wrong things. I don't want people to speculate and go in the wrong direction with it. Accidents happen. I don't blame no one for it and I don't want anyone else to blame them for it.”

Osseo Police Chief Timothy Wilson said an autopsy was done on Saturday, but that he didn't have results. He said the death is under investigation and wouldn't comment on who's been interviewed.


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