Chamness appeared in Kosciusko Circuit Court Monday morning for a scheduled plea hearing and sentencing. Instead, Judge Michael Reed took the plea under advisement. The sentencing date will be scheduled at a later date.
Indications during the plea hearing were the judge wanted to wait until after a scheduled plea hearing on a co-defendant in the case, Darrick W. Spore, to take any action. Spore is slated for a plea hearing at 10:30 a.m. Monday, Dec. 15. Contents of his change of plea are not known.
Chamness filed a plea agreement on Oct. 27, in which, she would plead guilty to the charge of reckless homicide, a class C felony. The charge of neglect of a dependent, a class A felony would be dismissed, if accepted by the courts.
During the plea hearing, tears filled Chamness’ eyes and she began crying when the judge read the charge: “between June 27 and June 28, 2014, she recklessly killed another human being …” While not named in court, the victim was her 12-year-old son, Skyler Spore. Spore’s death was caused by carbon monoxide poisoning. (See related)
Approximately a dozen people — possibly family members and friends, sat behind her during the hearing.
Jay A. Ridgon, counsel for Chamness, presented two pieces of evidence to the court – a report from the Bowen Center and a report from the Department of Child Services regarding progress with her surviving son, Tyler. Both documents will be added to the pre-sentence investigation report.
If her plea agreement is accepted, the state agrees that the initial executed sentence will not exceed four years. If a longer sentence is imposed it will be suspended and Chamness placed on probation for the remainder of the sentence.
The charge of reckless homicide carries a potential sentence of between two years to eight years.