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Mom given jail time: Teen sentenced for child beating PDF Print E-mail
Written by By SUE BOTSFORD, Staff Writer   
Wednesday, January 06, 1999

ELIZABETHTOWN — An Elizabethtown mother will spend 60 days inCounty Jail for beating her 17-month-old son.

Kristy Watrous Simard, 17, who was convicted in November of misdemeanorassault and endangering the welfare of a child, was sentenced in Essex County CourtTuesday.

Her attorney, J. Byron O'Connell, said Watrous Simard wants to seeher son, Isaiah Turner, under the supervision of her mother, and that she has a part-timejob at a Lewis diner and is enrolled full-time at Clinton Community College.

"I ask the court to show mercy to this 17-year-old child," hesaid.

"I didn't do it," a tearful Watrous Simard said, addingthat even if she is in jail she wants to see her son.

The father's wishes

Assistant District Attorney Mark Montanye said the child's father,Jonathan Turner, wanted her sentenced to the maximum. He also didn't want her to getyouthful-offender status, which would seal the records because of her age.

Montanye said he himself didn't think the sentence allowed underlaw was harsh enough.

'Children having children'

Acting County Court Judge Kevin K. Ryan said it was in WatrousSimard's favor that she had no criminal record before this. It is also sad, he said,that she herself has twice been the victim of terrible crimes. He didn't say whatthey were.

However, he agreed with the probation report, which said:

"This case appears to be a tragic example of why children shouldnot have children."

The jury did not believe what happened to Isaiah was an accident, asWatrous Simard claimed, but was a case of intentionally inflicted injuries.

"Every 17-year-old knows what she did was wrong," Ryan said.

He then sentenced her to 60 days in jail and three years on probationfor each conviction, with the sentences to run at the same time as each other.

He also said parenting classes should be part of her probation.

The judge denied a request that she serve the sentence on weekends soshe could start college. He said the sentence takes precedence over college.

He also denied youthful-offender status.

"I'm happy that this is public knowledge because it lets themknow that it's not only fathers that get in trouble for abuse," Jonathan Turnersaid.

He said he was happy youthful-offender status was denied because itmakes the case public and also it means Watrous Simard can't apply for work at achild-care center.

For the sake of any future children she has, Turner said, he is gladshe will be getting parenting instruction.

Custody hearing

Ryan then presided over a hearing in Family Court on issues in the samecase.

Watrous Simard and Jonathan Turner are each seeking full custody ofIsaiah.

The judge also has to consider child-abuse petitions filed by theDepartment of Social Services against Watrous Simard and her husband, Brian.

Gerald Forcier, the attorney for the baby's father, asked thattemporary custody be transferred from the Department of Social Services to JonathanTurner. Since there was no objection from the department, custody was transferred.

After a lengthy discussion, the question of supervised visitations withWatrous Simard was left undecided until other issues in the case are settled.

Ryan then set the custody trial for Jan. 21 and 22.

The issue also arose of whether Isaiah would be allowed to visit withhis maternal grandmother, Tammy Palmer, who had been supervising the visits with WatrousSimard.

Forcier read the litany of foods to which Isaiah was allergic and saidthe child was fed those foods during visitations, coming back with rashes and othermedical problems.

Law guardian Amy Quinn said Isaiah should see his grandmother becauseshe is taking care of his half-sister, Alexandria, and that the children need to see eachother.

Ryan said that, as adults, they should be able to work out some type ofschedule so Palmer can see the child.

The child's father said Isaiah's health is his first concern.His allergies are so severe that he cannot eat food everyone else eats daily, includingdairy products, turkey, corn and oils. It makes it difficult to care for him becauseingredients on everything he is given have to be screened.

The baby will be getting further testing at Mount Sinai Hospital in NewYork City.

Jail time could be reduced

Watrous Simard will be serving her sentence at the Clinton County Jail,according to Essex County Sheriff Henry Hommes. The Essex County Jail cannot accommodatefemale inmates.

If she doesn't get into trouble, she will serve only two-thirds ofher sentence, or about 40 days, with a three-day credit for time served when she wasarrested, with the rest being discharged for good behavior.

 

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