Bond reduced for suspect in March 2017 child murder case in Phoenix

Posted at 11:58 AM, Dec 11, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-11 13:58:02-05

The bond has been reduced in the case of a Phoenix man in the shooting death of his 9-year-old son earlier this year.

In November prosecutors dismissed murder charges against Kansas Lavarnia saying they felt they could not prove first-degree murder against him in the March 20th death of his son Landen.

Based on this, the attorney for Kansas requested his bond be reduced from $1,000,000 to $25,000. 
On December 7, a Maricopa County Court judge ordered his bond be reduced to a ‘cash only’ bond of $100,000. 

On March 20 of this year, his wife, Wendy Lavarnia, told police that her 2-year-old son found a gun left on a bed and accidentally shot his older brother in the head, while the children were playing video games. The couple was arrested for the boy's death after police said they found inconsistencies in the mother's account of the shooting.

Investigators also became suspicious when Kansas Lavarnia showed up at home with a crudely bandaged gunshot wound on his arm. It looked to have been punctured multiple times, possibly with a screwdriver, to camouflage the injury, authorities said.

Wendy Lavarnia faces charges of murder, child abuse, and hindering prosecution. Her husband still faces allegations of child abuse and hindering prosecution. The couple has pleaded not guilty.
Authorities said the parents delayed calling 911 for medical care for their son so they could clean up evidence in the house. They say the lack of visible blood and the extent of blood residue implied that a significant amount of time had passed before the mother called 911. 

They have a status conference set for December 21. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.