By Liz Shepherd
WARSAW — An Elkhart woman was sentenced to 16 years in prison after a child suffered life-threatening injuries while in her care.
Jammy Stacy, 43, 611 E. Carlton Ave., Elkhart, was charged with neglect of a dependent resulting in serious bodily injury, a level 3 felony. She was sentenced in Kosciusko Superior Court One on Monday, Aug. 31. During a three-day jury trial at the beginning of August, Stacy was found guilty on the criminal charge.
Stacy did not give any type of statement during court proceedings.
On March 2, 2018, Nappanee Police responded to a report of a child in need of service at 1200 N. Main St. Apartment 103, Nappanee. Upon arrival, officers discovered a boy who was injured and in need of medical attention.
One day earlier, Stacy and her mother, Annette Priestley, dropped the child off at Rune Springer’s residence with visible injuries all over his body. Springer is the child’s biological mother.
Medical staff at Parkview Hospital in Fort Wayne said the child had visible injuries in many stages of healing, showing injuries occurring over an extended time period.
The child had multiple pieces of his scalp missing, ranging from 1/2 inch to 2 inches. His septum on his nose had been cut out, and what appeared to be fingernail marks were dug into his left cheek and scabbed over. Both of the child’s arms were broken in multiple places and his arm sockets were broken to the point where the child was unable to raise his hands over his shoulders. The child was also underweight and malnourished. His injuries appeared to range from several months old to a few days old.
In October 2017, Springer had taken the child to Stacy to live with her at her Etna Green residence. Stacy said she was the sole caregiver for the child from October 2017 until March 1, 2018. She said the child would spend the night occasionally with her aunt, Fayette Robinette. Stacy said she knew she should have gotten the child medical attention for his injuries and would have if the injuries would have been to her own son.
During court proceedings, Chief Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Brad Voelz presented a lab report from March 5, 2018, showing that Stacy had amphetamine in her system.
Sarah Marsh, a paramedic with Nappanee EMS, testified at Stacy’s sentencing. Marsh was on duty the night the report was received regarding a child in need of services. In her testimony, Marsh recalled how emotional it made her seeing the child’s condition and that to this day, she is seeing a counselor every month due to responding to the call.
“This call touched many of us in many different ways,” said Marsh. “We were told to brace ourselves for the condition this child was in. The sight of his injuries was shocking to say the least. I felt my heart break as this child nuzzled into my neck. For me, sleep never came that night.”
Defense Attorney Mari Duerring called three of Stacy’s family members for testimony, including Nathan Stacy, Jammy’s husband. Nathan described Jammy as “a very caring and good person.”
Timothy Priestley, Jammy’s stepfather, also gave emotional testimony, saying that Jammy is being “sentenced and wronged for something she did not do.”
“I love her dearly and she’s being wronged,” said Priestley. “She’s always been thoughtful to others. Nobody’s looking at the other aspect of everything.”
Priestley and Deb Bailey, Jammy’s aunt, both focused on Jammy’s work ethic and reflected on her raising her own children by herself.
“She’s a good, kind, loving person,” said Bailey. “She would do anything for anybody.”
In his argument to the court, Voelz listed several aggravating circumstances in the case and requested Stacy be given the 16-year maximum sentence. The aggravators Voelz listed included Stacy’s substance abuse history, the nature of the committed crime, the extent of the child’s injuries and Stacy concealing herself from police when they first arrived at her residence to question her.
“This was intentional cruelty,” said Voelz. “This is the worst of the worst.”
Duerring said the prosecution putting weight on the child’s injuries is inappropriate since the perpetrator who actually caused the injuries was not identified. She also noted Stacy’s tremendous family support and asked for Stacy to receive the nine-year advisory sentence.
Kosciusko County Superior Court One Judge David Cates sentenced Stacy to 16 years in the Indiana Department of Correction. She has 26 days of jail time credit in the case.
“You had a daily opportunity for a period of months to help this child and you did not do it,” said Cates.
The child’s mother, Rune Springer; and stepfather, Travis Tillotson, have been sentenced in this matter. Springer received a 2 1/2 year suspended sentence and Tillotson received a 1 1/2 year suspended sentence.
Annette Priestley, 60, White Pigeon, Mich.; and Fayette Robinette, 60, 9462 N. SR 19 Lot 24, Etna Green, are also defendants in this case.
Robinette has a two-day jury trial scheduled for Oct. 13 and 14. Priestley has a 2 1/2 day jury trial scheduled for January 2021.