NOT GUILTY: Accused of pouring hot grits on a woman and infant, Leah Corney will stand trial

MILWAUKEE COUNTY (WITI) -- She faces several charges -- accused of pouring hot grits on a woman and six-month-old child as they slept. On Wednesday, October 15th, 40-year-old Leah Corney appeared in court for her preliminary hearing.

Corney waived her preliminary hearing, and a judge found probable cause for Corney to stand trial in this case.

Corney then pleaded not guilty to the charges against her, which include: two counts of first degree reckless injury, one count of child abuse - recklessly causing great harm and one count of first degree recklessly endangering safety.

FOX6 News spoke with one of the witnesses listed in court records, who says the victim and her two children had been staying at her apartment near 15th and Greenfield.

On Friday afternoon, October 3rd, the witness says she ran into Corney. The women were all hanging out -- but eventually, Corney and the victim began arguing.

A criminal complaint filed against Corney says "the argument became physical, and police were called."

After police left, the witness tells FOX6 News the same thing she told police -- that she believed everything was cool.

The victim and her children went to sleep in one room, and Corney, who wound up spending the night, went to bed in another room.

Around 1:00 a.m., the criminal complaint says the victim "felt an extreme burning sensation" and realized both she and her son were covered in hot grits. She then saw Corney flee the residence.

A doctor at Children's Hospital says the six-month-old child has burns on 40 percent of his body. She says those burns "will require long-term treatment, and will be life-altering." The burns will also likely be permanently disfiguring.

In court last Wednesday, Corney's attorney asked that two of the four charges against her be dropped.

"I do not believe there`s probable cause to charge first degree recklessly causing injury in count number one," Corney's attorney Bridget Krause said.

The court commissioner rejected that request -- setting a $15,000 cash bond for Corney.

Records show Corney was convicted of child neglect in 2004. She was sentenced to six months in jail.

If convicted on the latest charges against her, Corney faces a maximum sentence of 77 years in prison.

Corney will be back in court for a scheduling conference on October 20th.

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