Kelly Jagodzinski was sentenced to six months in jail yesterday for the death of her infant son, whose body was found in a wooden trunk behind a Sylvania ice rink nearly a year ago.
Judge Frederick McDonald in Lucas County Common Pleas Court ordered Jagodzinski to serve the jail time at the Corrections Center of Northwest Ohio in Stryker. He also placed her on community control for five years.
She could have been sentenced to 10 years in a state prison.
Jagodzinski, her body shaking as she sobbed, told the judge before sentencing that she didn't know what to do when her baby died. “I didn't know how to deal with it,” she said. “I'm sorry about what I did, and I miss him horribly.”
But Judge McDonald said he didn't believe Jagodzinski acted on the spur of the moment.
“The defendant had several months to consider what she would do in regard to this child,” he said. “She made a choice that placed that child at risk, and that risk happened and that baby died.”
The judge explained after the sentencing hearing how he reached his decision: “I considered the factors and considered the charge and gave the sentence I thought was appropriate.”
He said during the hearing he did not think a prison term was appropriate, but did believe that some incarceration was necessary.
In December, Jagodzinski, 22, of Percentum Road, Sylvania Township, pleaded no contest to involuntary manslaughter. The judge found her guilty.
Prosecutors said she gave birth to a son Jan. 5, 1999, by herself in the bathroom of her apartment at 5812 Spring Hollow Dr., near Airport Highway and Holland-Sylvania Road, in Toledo.
However, she sought no medical help for the baby, who died a short time later.
The body was found in the trunk Feb. 29, 2000, in some woods near Tam O'Shanter Sports, Inc., which operates an ice rink at 7060 Sylvania Ave., Sylvania.
Dr. James Patrick, county coroner, said he could not determine whether the child was alive when born because of the decomposition of the corpse.
Jagodzinski told police that after she gave birth to her son, he cried weakly once and refused to eat. When she checked on him about a half-hour later, she found he wasn't breathing.
She later placed him in a plastic bag and put his body in the trunk in a wooded area behind her parents' home on Percentum.
In the summer of 1999, she became concerned that someone might find the body, so she moved the trunk behind Tam O'Shanter. When it was found, it contained materials that linked the child to Jagodzinski.
Jeffrey Lingo, an assistant county prosecutor, said after the hearing he still is suspicious that Jagodzinski may have planned to let her baby die.
“There were statements made by her to some of her friends indicating that she had been to a physician and that the child was going to be born with a brain deformity or that it was going to be born dead,” Mr. Lingo said.
“Through an investigation, we were able to determine that she had never been to a physician. Coupling that with the fact that the child did die certainly created some suspicion in our minds,” he added.
Mr. Lingo said he didn't have enough evidence to charge her with a more serious crime.
Alan Konop, Jagodzinski's attorney, said after the hearing that his client was not indicted for murder, nor does the evidence support such a charge.
“I can't tell you the sadness and remorse she feels having given birth to a child, having held the child in her arms, and having the child die,” Mr. Konop said.
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