The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Cops, courts and fires

December 20, 2013

Son of Elwood mayor sentenced to prison

Gets 16 months for violating probation


"Mr. Arnold put the child in a place of danger by allowing the drug-using mother in the house," Happe said during the sentencing. "And he did not act in a timely manner relating to the health of the child."

That, coupled with the admittance to using marijuana and not showing up for a scheduled drug test, led to Happe sentencing Arnold to prison rather than giving him additional probation or keeping his sentence as it was.

"This is a serious sanction to reflect a serious charge," Happe said.

Arnold will remain in prison now for the duration of his probation sentence. The 85 days he has currently served since his October arrest will be reflected in the sentence. Williams said with the time currently served and a two for one agreement, his client is looking at 16 months in prison.

Arnold's jury trial for the five charges is scheduled to begin on April 22 of next year. That will determine what additional time, if any, is served.

Williams said the most important part of the finding for him and his client was the fact that the prosecutor couldn't convince the judge to include the battery charges in his decision.

"The judge didn't find in any way that my client had actually harmed the baby," Williams said.

The standard of proof in a decision like this is preponderance as opposed to beyond a reasonable doubt. If the state couldn't prove preponderance, it would seem difficult to prove Arnold is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

The incident in question occurred on a weekend in September after a baby was brought to Riley Children's Hospital. The Department of Child Services was alerted after the baby showed signs of trauma to the brain causing hemorrhaging and seizures. The baby also reportedly had a broken foot and fractured femur.

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