August 1, 2014

Elyria
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Judge rejects Alyson Sweany’s request for reduced sentence

ELYRIA — A county judge has rejected Alyson Sweany’s request to reduce the prison sentence she is serving for her role in the death of her son, Jesse Crum Jr.

Sweany

Sweany’s lawyer, Paul Griffin, had asked Lorain County Common Pleas Judge James Miraldi to reduce the sentence from four years to three years, arguing that had Miraldi sentenced her eight days later the maximum sentence the judge could have imposed would have been three years behind bars.

Miraldi didn’t offer an explanation in his decision, which was filed Monday.

Sweany, 23, pleaded guilty earlier this year to child endangering charges that stemmed from her failure to prevent the abuse that prosecutors said the 3-year-old endured at the hands of Peter Jones, Sweany’s then- boyfriend.

Jesse was flown to MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland on March 15, 2010, and died about a week later from his injuries.

An autopsy determined the cause of death was blunt head trauma, brain hemorrhages and pneumonia, although Griffin had suggested that Jesse died not from abuse, but from a blood platelet disorder.

Although her attorneys had mulled whether Sweany should withdraw her plea, she never formally tried to do so.

Jones hanged himself in June 2010, just a few days before he was scheduled to be sentenced on child endangering charges arising from a January 2009 incident in which Jesse was scalded by hot water while Jones was bathing the boy.

Jones was never charged in connection with Jesse’s death, although his parents, Dallas and Therese Jones pleaded guilty to child endangering and drug charges for the marijuana-growing operation police found in their Amherst home. The couple received probation in that case.

Although Sweany apologized during her sentencing hearing last month, her supporters have long contended that Jesse was injured a few days before he was taken to the hospital when a bookcase he was climbing on fell on him.

The family of Jesse Crum Sr. has rejected those suggestions and insisted that the younger Jesse was repeatedly brutalized by Peter Jones.

Griffin did not return a call seeking comment on Miraldi’s decision.

Contact Brad Dicken at 329-7147 or bdicken@chroniclet.com.