Victory

Justice for Miles! - Give Mary Beth Jennewein the Maximum 25 year sentence!!

This petition made change with 770 supporters!


On February 19, 2016 Federal Judge Jeffrey Viken affirmed a March 2015 decision stating South Dakota violated the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) and illegally removed thousands of Indian children from their homes and placed them in non-Indian foster homes.  While the state appealed Judge Viken’s original decision, a Lakota child was being abused in a non-Indian foster home. Simultaneously, his Native American aunt was fighting with Child Protective Services to have the child and his sister, placed in her home. A home that previously provided them with a safe, secure and loving environment.

 

The child’s name is Miles Stead. Miles was 2 years old when his fight to live ended. On January 6, 2016, Miles passed away from a traumatic brain injury inflicted by his foster parent. After an extensive investigation, the foster parent, Mary Beth Jennewein, was arrested on March 7, 2016 and charged with 2nd degree murder and four counts of voluntary manslaughter.  She was indicted by a Grand Jury and held on a one million dollar cash bond.

 

On October 25, 2016 a plea agreement was reached in exchange for the accused statement of guilt. Mary Beth Jennewein admitted she caused the injuries that resulted in Miles’ death. In doing so, the charges were reduced to Aggravated Battery of an Infant, which is a felony but a felony with far less consequences.  Under this agreement the 2nd degree murder charge and all 4 counts of voluntary manslaughter were dropped.  Mary Beth Jennewein faced a potential life sentence under the original charges. Under the new charge, the maximum sentence is 25 years. This plea agreement only benefits Mary Beth Jennewein. To further cause concern that Justice for Miles will not be adequately imposed, as part of the plea agreement no sentencing recommendation was provide by the State’s Attorney, the decision regarding Mary Beth Jennewein’s punishment is left to the judge in the case, Judge Susan M. Sabers. The judge has the option to impose no further punishment other than time already served. We cannot let this happen. Someone has to be the voice for this precious two-year-old. Because of the actions of Mary Beth Jennewein, he will never have a chance to learn, love and thrive. His family and friends will never be able to hold him again or even see that radiant smile. On the other hand, regardless of the punishment imposed by the judge, the woman who killed this innocent and defenseless child, will be free again to continue her life. How can the life of a child mean so little? Where is Justice for Miles?

 

Please help us get Justice for Miles by petitioning the States Attorney to advocate and the judge to impose the maximum sentence of 25 years. According to South Dakota sentencing guidelines, Mary Beth Jennewein would only be required to serve 12 and a half years of a 25 year sentence. A very small price to pay for taking the life of a defenseless child who was placed in her care to protect and nurture. We all know this is too little but it is the most we can pray for. We need your help in our fight for justice for Miles.  He no longer has a voice but we do.  Let our voices be heard!  Please sign this petition to tell the State’s Attorney and Judge Sabers “Nothing less than the maximum 25 year sentence for Mary Beth Jennewein.” Let it be known that children’s lives matter! This child’s life mattered! Thank you for helping us give Miles part of the Justice he so deserves.



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Leo Baker needs your help with “Judge Susan M Sabers- We ask for Justice for Miles! - Give Mary Beth Jennewein the Maximum 25 year sentence!!”. Join Leo and 769 supporters today.