On Tuesday, Aug. 18, Benjamin Brown, 43, was sentenced to 12 years in prison after pleading guilty to manslaughter in relation to the Jan. 16, 2014 death of toddler Keaton Runsvold.
Brown, of Caneyville, was arrested by the Leitchfield Police Department on Aug. 13, 2014, for the charges of Manslaughter in the Second Degree and being a Persistent Felony Offender in the First Degree in relation to Runsvold’s death, which was ruled by the State Medical Examiner to have been caused by “acute mixed drug intoxication.”
At the time of his death, Runsvold was 23 months old and had been staying with his maternal grandmother, Lana Brown, 45, also of Caneyville, and Benjamin Brown.
An autopsy performed by the State Medical Examiner’s Office in Louisville revealed that, prior to his death, Runsvold had ingested clonazepam, alprazolam, oxycodone, and oxymorphone, according to Grayson County Coroner Joe Brad Hudson in an August 2014 interview.
Benjamin Brown originally entered a plea of not-guilty to the aforementioned charges at his arraignment on Aug. 19, 2014.
On July 21, 2015, in open court, and by agreement with the prosecuting attorney for the Commonwealth, the charge of Persistent Felony Offender in the First Degree was amended to Persistent Felony Offender in the Second Degree, court documents state.
Following the amendment, Benjamin Brown withdrew his plea of not guilty and entered a plea of guilty to the charges of Manslaughter in the Second Degree and Persistent Felony Offender in the Second Degree, according to court documents.
Following his guilty plea, Benjamin Brown was found guilty of Manslaughter in the Second Degree and was sentenced in Grayson Circuit Court on Aug. 18 to serve 12 years—enhanced by the status of Persistent Felony Offender in the Second Degree—in prison.
Benjamin Brown’s co-defendant, Lana Brown, was also arrested by the Leitchfield Police Department on Aug. 13, 2014 and charged with Manslaughter in the Second Degree in relation to Runsvold’s death.
Lana Brown originally entered a not-guilty plea to the charge of Manslaughter in the Second Degree at her arraignment on Aug. 19, 2014; however, she changed her plea to guilty on July 21, 2015, as well.
Lana Brown was also scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 18, but her sentencing was reassigned to Tuesday, Sept. 15.
An initial press release from the investigating Kentucky State Police (KSP) stated that Runsvold was discovered unresponsive by a relative at 104 Cherry St. in Caneyville—the residence of Benjamin and Lana Brown, according to their Grayson Circuit Court indictments—on Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014.
Runsvold was found unresponsive by Grayson County Emergency Medical Services at the residence after a relative called 911, according to the KSP release.
The child was then transported by GCEMS to Twin Lakes Regional Medical Center where he was later pronounced deceased at 9:36 a.m.
Grayson County Sheriff’s Office personnel arrived at the scene and assisted with transporting family members to the hospital.
The KSP received a call about Runsvold at approximately 9:15 a.m. on Jan. 16., and KSP personnel conducted a search of the residence.
Reach Matt Lasley at 270-259-9622, ext. 2015.