Man suspected of killing toddler free on bail

SPOKANE, Wash. - Castner murder update

Josh Burnett is facing second degree murder and first degree manslaughter charges in the death of 18-month-old Rylee Castner, but is out of jail now while he's waiting for his trial to begin.

Bail for Burnett was originally set for $250,000, but Judge James Triplet lowered that to $25,000 at the request of the defense.

The victim's family was upset to hear the accused killer is now back home with relatives.

Jody Kelley, Rylee Castner's grandmother, and Rylee's mother Cassandra Castner are tired of interviews, tired of talking about the loss of 18-month-old Rylee.

"You know it still really hurts, it's really bad. I cry all the time and try to live my day to day life," Cassandra Castner said.

Detectives say last April, Castner's then-boyfriend Josh Burnett was watching little Rylee while his mom showered. Later that day the boy started acting drowsy and unresponsive. A trip to the hospital revealed bruising on the boy and a dent in his head. He died at the hospital and police later arrested Burnett.

On July 11, the court lowered Burnett's bail to $25,000 after defense attorneys argued Burnett would stay with family members while awaiting his trial. Jody Kelley said she was extremely upset when she heard that Burnett was at home instead of being in jail.

"We argued to the court that the $250,000 was appropriate and that is based on the nature of the offense and the age of the victim at the time," Spokane County Deputy Prosecutor Kelly Fitzgerald said.

Prosecutors originally asked for a lot more for several reasons.

"We were also concerned about the danger he posed to the community due to the nature of the charge. This was a very young child," Fitzgerald added.

Cassandra Castner said she's not worried for herself but others. "He pulled the wool over all our eyes so it could happen to somebody else, you know what I mean?"

Jody Kelley didn't think it's fair Burnett can see his family when she can't see her grandson anymore.

"When or if he is ever in jail again they can at least write or go visit him. I don't have that luxury," she said.

Prosecutors are seeking an exceptional sentence in this case, which could put Burnett in jail for life if convicted, which is another reason why they wanted him in jail, so he wouldn't have the chance to flee.

When contacted by KXLY Tuesday for comment, Burnett's father would only say that Rylee Castner's death was a terrible accident and had no further comment.