A former mental patient in Little Rock, Arkansas, Tuggle was arrested in March 1984 and charged with murdering four of her own children over the past decade. The first two victims -- sons Thomas Bates, age two, and William Henry, 21 months -- were suffocated at different times in 1974. Another son, nine-month-old Ronald Johnson, suffered a similar fate in 1976, while two-year-old Tomekia Paxton, the daughter of Tuggle's boyfriend, was deliberately drowned in 1982. Held on $750,000 bond pending trial and ultimate conviction on the outstanding murder counts, Tuggle was also suspected -- but never charged -- in the death of a fifth child. Coroner Steve Nawoiczyk told newsmen that a faulty legal system had permitted Tuggle to remain at large for years, escaping prosecution in the string of homicides that claimed her children's lives. No motive was presented in the case. Tuggle was convicted on one count of second-degree murder in September 1984 and sentenced to ten years in prison. The three other counts of murder were dismissed by the court on grounds of insufficient physical evidence , while state law barred introduction of her standing conviction to prove a series of pattern crimes.