Man sentenced for child neglect

A Crothersville man who pleaded guilty to two counts of child neglect after failing to get proper prenatal care for his baby recently received a six-year prison sentence.

Jesse B. McSwain, 35, was arrested in July after an investigation was completed by Indiana State Police and the Jackson County office of the state Department

of Child Services.

According to the probable cause affidavit signed by Master Trooper Richard Roseberry, police discovered the mother of McSwain’s baby did not receive proper prenatal or postnatal care during her pregnancy.

The baby was born 35 weeks into the pregnancy on Dec. 17, 2013, during an at-home birth and was considered premature, according to court documents. Medical assistance was not sought by anyone until two days following the birth.

A doctor at Kosair Children’s Hospital in Louisville, where the baby was eventually taken to receive care, said the baby had many critical health issues, including heart defects. At the time, the doctor told investigators the baby needed to be kept at the hospital for at least four weeks for

treatment if complications didn’t arise.

Roseberry said the doctor told police he believed if a “proper pregnancy” had occurred, there would have been a “good chance the pregnancy could have gone full term,” according to court documents.

The baby also was exposed to more risk of injury since she was born prematurely at home, keeping her from receiving the medical treatment she needed, court documents stated.

The doctor said if the mother and baby had received normal and appropriate medical care, which typically includes seeing a doctor several times during the pregnancy and having ultrasounds, the baby’s heart problems would have been discovered and monitored. An at-home birth would have been discouraged by medical professionals, according to court documents.

McSwain pleaded guilty in Jackson Circuit Court to neglect of a dependent resulting in bodily injury, a Class C felony, and neglect of a dependent, a Class D felony, according to court documents.

Jackson Circuit Court Judge Richard Poynter sentenced McSwain to six years in the Indiana Department of Correction on the charge of neglect of a dependent resulting in bodily injury. None of that time was suspended. McSwain also was given 18 months in prison for the Class D felony charge,

which he will serve consecutively, according to court documents.

McSwain, who had no prior criminal history, received

139 days credit and 139 days credit time.

Two other charges of neglect of a dependent-dependent put in situation endangering dependent’s life/health were dropped as part of the plea agreement.