Former US Olympic volleyball player Kim Willoughby, 37 (pictured), will not stand trial after being charged with murder and child abuse in the March 2016 death of her three-year-old daughter, Kailia
A judge in Puerto Rico has said there is not enough evidence to charge a former US Olympic volleyball player in the 2016 death of her young daughter.
Authorities said on Friday that 2008 silver medalist Kim Willoughby, 37, had been accused of murder and child abuse
However, Judge María del Pilar Vázque declared on Friday that there was no cause for trial despite the charges.
A former US Olympic volleyball player has been charged by police in Puerto Rico in the 2016 death of her young daughter.
At the moment, it is unclear if prosecutor Esteban Miranda will appeal the decision.
In March 2016, Willoughby was allegedly searching for a towel around 9:45am when her three-year-old daughter, Kailia, slipped and hit her head, according to a police report.
CPR was performed, but the toddler was pronounced dead upon her arrival at the Medical Center of Mayagüez.
During the investigation, it was found that the blows she suffered were incompatible with the alleged fall.
‘The Forensic Science report showed that the cause of death was not compatible with a fall. On the contrary, the cause of death was a severe corporal blow,’ said Commander Janice Rodríguez, of the Criminal Investigation Body of Mayagüez.
Willoughby was a member of the US Olympic team that took home the silver medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics after losing to Brazil in the finals.
Afterwards, she moved to Italy to continue her professional career. She tested positive for nandrolone – a steroid – after a match for her Italian team, Perugia, in April 2009.
In September 2009, it was announced that Willoughby was given a two-year suspension from the Italian Olympic Committee, to end in July 2011, reported the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.
Willoughby told police she was searching for a towel around 9.45am when Kailia slipped and hit her head, according to a police report. CPR was performed, but the toddler was pronounced dead upon her arrival at the Medical Center of Mayagüez (Pictured, left, at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and, right, in June 2008 playing for Team USA)
Following that, Willoughby moved to Puerto Rico to play for various teams in the Puerto Rican league. She is currently a member of the Indias de Mayagüez.
This is not Willoughby’s first run-in with the law.
In June 2001, Honolulu police charged her with abuse of a family or household member and third-degree assault, both misdemeanors. One month later, Willoughby entered deferred guilty pleas to both charges.
A judge declared that there was a lack of evidence despite an investigation finding that the blows Kailia suffered were incompatible with the alleged fall (Pictured, Willoughby at the 2008 Beijing Olympics)
In September 2008, Willoughby (pictured, in June 2008 playing for Team USA) was arrested for assaulting a woman outside a Honolulu night club in December 2006 and given five years’ probation
Five days after police charged Willoughby in the case, the victim filed for a temporary restraining order against her, leading a judge to issue a three-year protective order.
In September 2008, she was arrested for assaulting a woman outside a Honolulu night club in December 2006.
Willoughby allegedly got into an altercation with Sara Daniel at the Pipeline Cafe in Kakaako, causing severe bone fractures to Daniel’s face.
Willoughby claimed self-defense, but prosecutor Sherri Chun disagreed, saying: ‘This incident was not self-defense. [Willoughby] followed [Daniel] out of the club, and that’s when this all happened.’
The volleyball star pleaded no contest in a plea agreement with the state and was sentenced to five years’ probation. In January 2012, she was granted an early end to her probation.