Rebecca Steinmiller gets three years for child endangering PDF Print E-mail
Written by PETER KUEBECK/Sentinel Staff Writer   
Thursday, 20 February 2014 17:52
Rebecca Steinmiller, 26, appeares Thursday in the courtroom of Wood County Judge Robert Pollex. (Photo: Enoch Wu/Sentinel-Tribune)
A Bowling Green woman will spend three years in prison on a child endangering charge in connection to the 2012 death of her infant son.
Rebecca Steinmiller, 26, appeared Thursday in the courtroom of Wood County Judge Robert Pollex. She pleaded guilty in October to an amended charge of endangering children in the death of Carter Steinmiller, who was 4 months old at the time of his death on May 5, 2012.
"Rebecca's actions... were not planned," said her attorney, Kurt Bruderly, prior to sentencing.
"Her actions didn't kill Carter Steinmiller," he said later.
The child's father, Brian Steinmiller, 32, was sentenced to 14 years in prison in November after pleading guilty to one count of involuntary manslaughter and two counts of endangering children as part of a plea agreement in Carter's death.
Carter sustained numerous injuries throughout his short life, including 23 rib fractures, burns throughout his body, fractures to an arm bone, and skull injuries, among numerous others, caused by Brian Steinmiller. The cause of death was found to be abusive head trauma, and the abuse had reportedly been ongoing since January 2012, the month Carter was born.
Bruderly argued that his client suffered from psychological issues noted in a doctor's report, and also from battered woman syndrome - though he said that one of those problems served as an excuse. He said that she had been abused by Brian Steinmiller, and even threatened with a knife.
"I'll paint the walls red with your blood," Bruderly reported that Brian Steinmiller once said to Rebecca.
He further argued that, given her psychological problems, Rebecca could likely be manipulated and exploited by other inmates in prison.
Bruderly said Rebecca was asleep at the time of the May 5 incident, "woke up and found her son unconscious," and both parents attempted CPR until paramedics arrived.
Prosecuting attorney Gwen Howe-Gebers doubted whether Rebecca Steinmiller fully suffered from battered woman syndrome and said "we had a four-month-old child, Carter, unable to protect himself," and he should have been her focus. She said the defendant had family support and was in treatment at the time of the death.
A weeping Steinmiller declined to offer her own statement in court.
"The court has a real problem with this case," said Pollex, before rendering sentence. He noted his understanding of Steinmiller's issues and limitations, but was still concerned that she knew of the abuse suffered by the child, and still left him in Brian Steinmiller's care. Further, he noted that Rebecca Steinmiller had opportunities to report the abuse to authorities and did not.
Last Updated on Friday, 21 February 2014 13:41

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