By Liz Shepherd
WARSAW — The State of Indiana has filed a brief with the Indiana Court of Appeals in response to Jammy Stacy’s appellant’s brief.
Stacy, a 43-year-old caregiver, is appealing her 16-year prison sentence after she was convicted of neglect of a child who suffered life-threatening injuries over an extended period of time.
Supervising Deputy Attorney General Ian McLean filed the brief on behalf of the state.
The State argues the jury’s finding of guilty should be upheld.
On March 2, 2018, Nappanee Police responded to a report of a child in need of service. Upon arrival, officers discovered an injured boy in need of medical attention. The child had visible injuries in many stages of healing and was also underweight and malnourished. In October 2017, the child’s biological mother had taken the child to live with Stacy at her Etna Green home. Stacy said she was the sole caregiver for the child from October 2017 to March 1, 2018.
During a three-day jury trial in August 2020, Stacy was found guilty of neglect of a dependent resulting in serious bodily injury, a level 3 felony. She is currently serving her sentence in the Rockville Correctional Facility, with a projected release date of Aug. 4, 2032.
The 15-page appellant’s brief from the state, filed Jan. 4, states that there is sufficient evidence supporting Stacy being found guilty.
“To find Stacy guilty, the jury was required to have concluded beyond a reasonable doubt that she knowingly placed (the child) in a situation that endangered (the child’s) life or health when (the child) was her dependent, and that her conduct resulted in serious bodily injury to (the child),” read the brief.
The brief argues defendants knowingly engage in criminal conduct when they are aware of a high probability they are doing so. With neglect of a dependent cases, the brief states evidence must show defendants are subjectively aware of placing a dependent in a harmful situation.
The State also argues that Stacy is neither disputing evidence showing she was the child’s sole caregiver nor denying the evidence’s sufficiency in showing her decisions resulted in serious bodily injury to the child. The brief says Stacy claims the child’s injuries did not endanger the child’s life or health since no surgical intervention or extensive hospitalization was necessary.
“Stacy’s claims are unpersuasive invitations to reweigh the evidence and draw inferences favorable to her, which this Court should decline,” read the brief.
The State’s brief also states Stacy’s argument individually dismisses four categories of injuries the child sustained.
“The activities of an average child do not include repeated and uncared-for breaks in his arms; walking with a broken pelvis and broken feet; using an arm whose upper bone had been ‘ripped off’ and repeatedly broken; and living with open wounds in a state of constant hunger — let alone living with these conditions, day in and day out, for months,” read the brief.
The State compares Stacy’s argument of not being subjectively aware of endangering a child since she isn’t a trained medical professional to that of a drunken driver saying they wouldn’t cause harm while driving because they were not trained to calculate the physics of a collision.
The brief also discusses videos presented as evidence to the jury. Several of the evidentiary videos filmed by Stacy showed the child experiencing pain while trying to remove a jacket, as well as appearing zombie-like with a wobbly walking gait.
Through Stacy’s admission of saying she should have gotten the child medical assistance, deceiving the child’s biological mother on the child’s condition and the existence of videos showing the child’s poor condition, the State argues the jury could “reasonably conclude that Stacy was subjectively aware of the fact that her neglect of (the child) endangered his health and his life, and their verdict should be affirmed.”