Indiana high court won’t hear appeal in girl’s crash death

"Courtroom Gavel" by Joe Gratz, public domain

MUNCIE, Ind. (AP) — Indiana’s high court won’t be taking up a woman’s appeal of her convictions in her 6-year-old daughter’s death in a 2017 highway crash.

The state Supreme Court last week denied a petition of transfer for Jessica M. Skeens, who was sentenced to 41 years in prison following her August 2019 convictions on several charges, including neglect of a dependent resulting in death and driving while intoxicated, the Star Press reported.

The 31-year-old Farmland woman had drank alcohol and smoked marijuana before the van she was driving crashed in May 2017 along the Muncie Bypass. The crash killed Taelyn Ann Marie Woodson, who wasn’t in a child safety seat, but Skeens’ three other children survived.

Skeens and her attorney contended that the crash occurred because Skeens’ then-boyfriend, Nathaniel Jordan of Anderson, had punched her in the face.

Jordan, 30, is scheduled to stand trial in February on eight charges, including neglect of a dependent resulting in death.

In June, the Indiana Court of Appeals upheld Skeens’ convictions and sentence after she contended in her appeal that her sentence was too harsh given the facts of the case and her character.


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