Grandmother gets year in jail in connection with Dewey child abuse death
BY LAURA SUMMERS World Correspondent
Wednesday, February 06, 2013
2/06/13 at 11:24 AM
BARTLESVILLE – The 49-year-old grandmother of a Dewey baby who was murdered in her home was sentenced Wednesday in Washington County District Court to a year in the county jail.
She was released from jail Wednesday on time already served, officials said.
Juanchellee Lanyl Fitch originally was charged with accessory to murder in the Feb. 24 slaying of 15-month-old Emma Beth Warmerbrodt. However, in a plea deal arranged in order to secure her testimony in her son’s trial, Washington County District Attorney’s Office amended her charge to obstruction of an officer.
District Judge Curtis DeLapp, following the prosecution’s recommendation, sentenced Fitch to $1,500 in fines, one year in jail on the obstruction charge and 15 years of supervised probation of a felony child neglect charge. Prosecutors dropped a charge of enabling child neglect against Fitch.
Dewey police were called at 2:30 p.m. to Fitch’s residence in the 300 block of Cherokee Avenue about a baby who was not breathing. They arrived to find the lifeless bruised body of a baby who was showing signs of rigor mortis, indicating she had been dead for some time.
In her appearance before the judge this week, Fitch admitted she lied to police investigators about the timeframe when she had last seen the baby alive.
The Oklahoma Medical Examiner’s Office ruled the baby died of blunt chest trauma, along with suffering chronic abuse as evidenced by the injuries and bruises found on her body.
Marcus Trinidad Mitchell, Fitch’s 23-year-old son, was convicted Friday by a Washington County jury which found him guilty of first-degree murder and child neglect and recommended a sentence of life in prison. Mitchell, who was the baby’s stepfather, will be sentenced March 27.
Ashley Ann Mitchell, 24, the baby's mother, plead guilty Jan. 25 to charges of enabling child abuse and child neglect. She will be sentenced April 3.
Fitch has served 335 days in Washington County Jail, where she was held with a $250,000 bond since her arrest March 9.
The detention center on Wednesday confirmed that Fitch was released. The office was tabulating the credits Fitch has received for good behavior over her time in the jail, which can be up to seven days of credit per 30 days served.
Juanchellee Lanyl Fitch