A 23-year-old Fremont woman was sentenced to 30 months of probation after her 2-year-old daughter died in her care.
“It strikes the court to its core any time there is a death of a child,” Judge Geoffrey Hall said. “It troubles me to a great extent.”
Madison S. Craig was also sentenced to 180 days in the Dodge County Jail, but had a show cause hearing set for March 7, 2022, to determine if she would have to serve time.
On Oct. 30, 2020, members of the Fremont Police Department and Fremont Fire Department responded to a report of an unresponsive child. The child was declared brain dead two days later, and measures to maintain life were removed on Nov. 4, 2020.
Craig told FPD officers that she had told the child to go back to bed. Around 10 minutes later, she walked into the child’s room and found her with a window blind cord around her neck.
Craig had been cited three times previously by FPD in regard to children not being supervised. The investigation found that others told Craig that the blinds were a “death sentence.”
As she also acknowledged the cord posing a threat, Craig was charged with child abuse for the death of her daughter. She pleaded no contest to the charge on May 24.
Deputy Dodge County Attorney Emily Beamis said she was not opposed to a probation term for Craig, as well as employment enhancement and for her to follow the terms of her juvenile court case.
Judge Geoffrey Hall said he was “troubled” by the case and noted that Craig took responsibility for the death in a letter, but ultimately decided to sentence her to intensive supervised probation.
“I do believe, based on the recommendation and other information contained herein, I could send you to prison. You probably deserve that, based on what happened here,” he told her. “However, that’s not going to help you become a better person, a better mother, someone that’s responsible.”
For her jail sentence, Craig was given credit for three days previously served. Hall said he could waive her show cause hearing prior to it taking place, which would determine if she would serve the sentence.
Additionally, Hall said Craig must attend counseling and comply with her mental health treatment and any prescribed medication. Along with Beamis’ requests, he ordered Craig to take part in 30 hours of community service and a women’s trauma group.
“You have the opportunity to turn things around, but you’re going to have to make significant changes,” Hall told Craig. “You’ll have to get control of your life and turn things around in a positive fashion.”