A 32-year-old woman in Kentucky has been sentenced to more than three decades for beating her young son to death in 2019. A state judge on Tuesday handed down a sentence of 35 years in prison Stacey Schuhart for killing a 17-month-old child Sean Buttery Jr.who was so battered that the medical examiner said his injuries were comparable to a “serious car accident”.
“I can tell you that in terms of the case itself, this was just a horrific case,” Chief Assistant Commonwealth Attorney said Mike Zimmerman said Law&Crime in a phone interview.
Schuchart reached a settlement in February with prosecutors in the Campbell County Commonwealth Attorney’s Office and pleaded guilty to murder in exchange for a recommended 35-year sentence. Under Kentucky State LawSchuart can be paroled in 20 years.
Eligibility to appear before the Kentucky State Parole Board is mandatory after a defendant has served 20 years or 85 percent of their sentence, whichever is less, and was not negotiated under Schuchart’s plea agreement, the prosecutors stated to Law & Crime.
“This was an incredibly difficult case — one of the most horrifying murders I’ve seen in my time as a prosecutor,” Zimmerman said. “Any time you’re involved with the murder of a child, especially by the child’s birth mother, it’s difficult. It just led us to the conclusion that Stacey Schuchart had to go away for a very long time.”
Zimmerman, who was the main architect of the plea agreement that will ensure Schuart is behind bars for several decades, said it was important to prevent Schuart from having the opportunity to harm her surviving children.
“That was part of our thought process and the settlement of a 35-year sentence,” Zimmerman said, referring to the well-being of Schuchart’s other children. “Obviously, 35 years of service would serve her well into her senior years in terms of her ability to be in her life. Now we can be sure that without her in their lives, these children will come of age.”
Affidavit obtained after probable cause until Cincinnati Inquirer, Schuchart called 911 on August 16, 2019 and told an emergency responder that she was at Sean and his 3-year-old brother’s home when Sean banged his head on the microwave and stopped breathing. Officers from the Dayton Police Department and emergency medical services personnel responded to the home.
Upon arriving at the scene, first responders reportedly found an unresponsive Sean in critical condition. Authorities reportedly noted in the affidavit that Sean “suffered a collection of injuries that went beyond the headbutt on the microwave.” EMS transported the toddler to the medical center at Children’s Hospital of Cincinnati, where doctors attempted to resuscitate Sean. He was pronounced dead shortly after arriving at the facility.
The Hamilton County Coroner’s Office performed an autopsy and reportedly found that Sean had died of “homicidal violence.” The child had suffered “significant traumatic injuries,” including severe bruising in multiple areas of his head and eyes, and brain swelling associated with repeated blunt force impacts. The severity of the injuries were considered consistent with what the coroner said she “would expect from a serious car accident,” according to Cincinnati-based NBC affiliate WLWT reported.
Sean also reportedly suffered at least four pelvic fractures, indicating someone “stepped” him while he was lying on the floor, causing internal bleeding and completely separating his bladder from his skeletal system.
Also, one of the child’s arms was broken, likely from being grabbed and twisted, according to WLWT.
The coroner’s report stressed that any collision Sean may have had with the microwave played no role in his death, and went straight to the point that the toddler was “bludgeoned to death.” Cincinnati Inquirer.
The boys’ father had reportedly gone to work early that morning when Sean suffered his fatal injuries. He told police neither boy was injured the previous night when he went to sleep.
To make matters worse, while Schuchart was Sean’s birth mother, the state had obtained a court order removing the toddler and his older brother from their home and placing them in the care of her sister Cincinnati Inquirer. Despite the court order, prosecutors reportedly said there was evidence the children had been living with Sean illegally for at least a month prior to Sean’s grisly death.
This will be remembered for a long time,” Commonwealth Advocate Michelle Snodgrass said Law&Crime.
She noted that part of the motivation for prosecutors in reaching a settlement with Schuchart was to prevent Sean’s loved ones from reliving the trauma of his death in a criminal trial.
“Luckily for the child’s father, Stacey was willing to plead guilty and accept responsibility for her actions,” Snodgrass said. “It saves him and the family from a lawsuit and the appeals process and everything else that process entails. Although it will take them a long time to get over Sean’s death, at least the healing process has begun.”
[image via Campbell County Jail]
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https://lawandcrime.com/crime/just-a-horrifying-case-kentucky-mom-sentenced-for-brutally-killing-toddler-whose-injuries-were-likened-to-being-in-a-serious-car-accident/ Stacey Schuchart convicted of murdering young son