Modified bond for woman charged with infant’s death

By Erin Thompson -

A London woman, facing felony charges after an infant died in her care, will be allowed to continue to care for her adoptive sister.

Jessica Carter, 35, of London, was arraigned on one count reckless homicide, both third-degree felonies in November.

A 7-month-old was found unresponsive in a portable crib in Carter’s home in London giving rise to the charges. Madison County Coroner determined the cause of death as asphyxiation.

Carter was granted recognizance bond but, as a condition of her bond, she was forbidden from providing childcare in her home.

A hearing was held on Monday in Madison County Common Pleas Court after Mike Murray, Carter’s defense attorney, filed a motion to modify her bond.

Murray explained to the court that Carter was in the process of adopting a toddler from her mother.

Carter’s mother adopted the child in August of 2014. Beginning in May 2015, the child has been living with Carter.

Murray told the court that the child looks at Carter and her husband as her parents and that the two intend on adopting the child.

Judge Eamon Costello ruled that the child could remain in Carter’s care, seemingly because the inherent risk from the pending charges stem from the infant having been placed unsafely in a crib. The toddler Carter cares for is almost 4 years old and does not sleep in a crib.

Assistant county prosecutor Nick Adkins did not object to the modification.

Carter will appear in court on Jan. 27 for her informal pretrial hearing.

Also in court Monday:

• Ronnie Napper, 64, of London, appeared for a competency trial. Napper faces a first-degree felony charge after failing to register as a sex offender upon his release from prison.

Napper was arraigned in August, but concerns about his competency have delayed his trial. He has been in custody at Summit Behavioral Healthcare, in Cincinnati, for a little over a month.

Napper’s doctor at Summit, Dr. Vanessa Doyle, testified in court that she believed Napper had schizophrenia and needed anti-psychotic medicine.

Doyle testified that Napper was menacing, responded to voices only he heard and has said his name is “Tarzan.” Doyle went on to say that Napper is refusing medicine, most likely because the mental state prevents him from being aware of his mental illness.

Costello granted the order, meaning Napper will receive the medicine, even involuntarily, so that his mental state can be improved and he can stand trial.

Doyle testified that only 15-20 percent of patients refuse medicine orally. If he refuses, Napper will receive an intramuscular shot. According to Doyle, after the initial dose most patients accept it orally.

• Justin Davis, 31, of Plain City, pleaded guilty to fifth-degree felonious forgery. In consideration of his plea, the state dropped a charge of fifth-degree felonious theft.

Davis faces up to 12 months in prison and a fine of $2,500. He will be sentenced on Jan. 19. He is currently out on recognizance bond and under house arrest.

• Paul Jackson, 22, of Columbus, pleaded guilty to possession of methamphetamine, a fifth-degree felony. Jackson faces up to 12 months in prison and a fine up to $2,500. He will be sentenced on Jan. 17.

Jackson is currently out on recognizance bond and under house arrest. However, according to a court document, an unnamed woman reached out to the court and said that Jackson was out of the house with his father.

The woman also stated that Jackson had been making meth with his father the night of Dec. 15.

During court, Jackson admitted to using marijuana and meth over the weekend, a violation of his recognizance bond. It is unclear whether new charges will be filed against Jackson.

• Beth Perry, 41, of Dayton, pleaded guilty to an amended charge of attempting to tamper with evidence, a fourth-degree felony.

Perry tried hiding two Xanax pills that she had in her purse after a traffic stop by Ohio State Highway Patrol, according to Adkins.

Perry faces up to 18 months in prison and a fine up to $5,000. She will be sentenced on Jan. 17. She is currently out on recognizance bond and under house arrest.

By Erin Thompson

Reach Erin Thompson at 740-852-1616, ext. 1615.

Reach Erin Thompson at 740-852-1616, ext. 1615.