KSP waiting on extradition of Ronald Saunders
News of Ronald Saunders’ recent arrest was not a surprise to Mashanna Bachuss Waggoner.
"I was very fearful that this was would happen," Bachuss Waggoner told Local 6’s Robert Bradfield.
In 2010, her son Conner died at the hands of Saunders. More than 150 pin pricks were found on the 2-year-old boy’s feet. Saunders was sentenced to 10 years in prison in 2012.
"He’s proven that without a doubt that he can’t be amongst society," she said.
Saunders pleaded no contest to second degree manslaughter. State law labeled him a non-violent criminal, and he was eligible for parole after serving 20 percent of his sentence. He was released in 2015, and Bachuss Waggoner said Saunders’ current abuse case would not have happened if the state had stricter child abuse laws. "I felt like this crime was 100 percent preventable, and definitely a tragedy, and definitely did not need to happen," she said.
Commonwealth Attorney Dan Boaz negotiated Saunders’ plea after his first trial ended in a hung jury in January 2012. "The last thing we wanted to happen was for him to walk out of that courtroom without having a conviction," Boaz said.
Bachuss Waggoner championed for Conner’s Law, which passed in 2015. It makes cases like Conner’s violent crimes and requires offenders to serve at least 85 percent of their sentence. While she mourns the death of her son, she said she finds comfort in knowing those who kill kids won’t have it easy anymore.
"Hopefully Conner’s death wasn’t a complete, terrible tragedy. Something good came out of it," she said.
It’s unclear when Saunders will be extradited to Kentucky.