OBERLIN — Alyson Sweany, the mother of Jesse Crum Jr. who is facing endangering children charges in connection with her son’s March death, took a plea deal Thursday in an unrelated case in Oberlin Municipal Court.
Sweany, 22, entered a no contest plea to unlawful congregation on a public sidewalk for a May 15 shouting match with her boyfriend, Peter Jones, who also had been considered a suspect in Jesse’s death before Jones hanged himself in his parents’ Amherst home on June 15. Police were called to Forest Hill Drive by neighbors who reported hearing Jones, 23, and Sweany arguing. When officers arrived, the two were back inside Jones’ parents home, but didn’t deny they had been outside.
In exchange for the plea, prosecutors dropped charges of disorderly conduct while intoxicated and disturbing the peace. Sweany was fined $100 and must complete 25 hours of community service.
Her attorney, John Chambers, said Sweany won’t have to perform the community service if she doesn’t get into additional trouble for the next three years.
“She entered a compromise plea to a very minor charge and she’s happy to put it behind her,” Chambers said.
Jones had pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct and disturbing the peace charges and was fined and ordered to perform community service before his death.
Amherst prosecutors dropped a domestic violence charge against Sweany in July in which Jones was the alleged victim because Jones was the only witness in that case. In that incident, Sweany allegedly attacked Jones in April while the couple was driving together.
When he died, Jones was awaiting sentencing on endangering children charges stemming from a January 2009 incident in which he allegedly scalded Jesse while giving the boy a bath.
Chambers said he doesn’t expect Thursday’s misdemeanor plea to play a role in the felony endangering children case.
Jones’ parents, Dallas and Therese Jones, also are facing endangering children charges in connection with Jesse’s death, as well as marijuana charges stemming from plants found growing in their house when police searched it in connection with Jesse’s death.
Three-year-old Jesse died from head injuries a few days after he was taken to Metro-Health Medical Center in Cleveland on March 12. Chambers, as well as attorneys for the Joneses, have said that the boy accidentally injured himself while climbing on a bookcase in the Forest Hill Drive home.
They have said several items, including a laptop computer, struck Jesse on the head, but he didn’t appear injured and didn’t even tell his family about the incident for at least a day because he was afraid he would get in trouble. When Jesse did appear lethargic, the attorneys have said, Sweany took the boy to the hospital.
The family of Jesse Crum Sr., Jesse’s father, has said that doctors told them that Jesse had been beaten.
Chambers said that he continues to worry that Sweany will lose her parental rights to a second son, a 1-year-old boy whose father was Peter Jones. That child has been in the custody of relatives since Jesse was injured in March and Chambers said Lorain County authorities want to make that arrangement permanent.
He said a county judge is currently considering the request, but hasn’t made a decision yet.
Contact Brad Dicken at 329-7147 or firstname.lastname@example.org.