WARSAW – The mother who left her toddler in the care of a friend – only to be severely abused – was given a suspended sentence Thursday, Feb. 13, in Kosciusko County Superior Court 1.
Rune Star Springer, 26, was given a two and a half year sentence, but Judge David Cates suspended the sentence Thursday morning, noting that Springer had served 427 days in jail.
Springer agreed to a reduced charge of neglect of a dependent, from a level 3 felony to a level 6.
Springer is the first of five defendants in the cast to be sentenced.
Springer turned the child over to Jammy Stacy in late 2017, saying she could not care for the child.
The boy, who was about 2 years old at the time of the transfer, was returned to Springer months later with widespread injuries that included (formerly) broken arms, a cut septum on the nose, broken teeth, deep cuts in his head, injured shoulder sockets and other injuries that were still healing.
The child was malnourished and could have died without care, according to initial court paperwork.
Chief Deputy Prosecutor Brad Voelz told the court that Springer is suffering from severe mental illness and that two court-appointed doctors indicated they believe she was “legally insane” on the day the child was returned to Springer.
Voelz also said that Stacy convinced Springer “through lies and deceit” not to seek medical care or contact police.
Voelz noted that despite her mental condition, Springer did eventually call the police, “likely saving (the child’s) life.”
Voelz described the child as “broken and bleeding” at the time he was returned to Springer in March of 2018.
“Rune is guilty of this crime because, whatever reason she had, she delayed getting (the child) help when it was obvious to anyone – even a person with Rune’s severe mental illness – that it was necessary,” Voelz said. “She has to answer for that.”
Voelz said that Springer had been cooperative and is cooperating in the preparation of the cases against other defendants.
Given the chance to address the court, Springer, dressed in a jail jumpsuit, declined.
Her lawyer, John Barrett, also declined, saying the prosecution’s summary was sufficient.
Cates ordered Springer to seek a mental health analysis and mental health services from Bowen Center.
She was also placed on probation.
Within an hour, Springer was released from jail.
Stacy is facing a neglect charge. Others facing neglect charges are Travis Tillotson, Claypool; Fayette Robinette, Etna Green; and Annette Priestley, White Pigeon, Mich.
Tillotson’s sentencing is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 27.
Stacy and Robinette both have three-day jury trials scheduled in this case, which will take place in April.
Priestley also has a three-day jury trial scheduled for this case, which will take place in June.