GREENVILLE – A father convicted for the death of his 16-month-old daughter was granted judicial release Wednesday morning in the Darke County Common Pleas Court.
The judge found now 30-year-old Scott A. Webber guilty of Involuntary Manslaughter and Endangering Children last April. He was then sentenced to three years in prison on June 5, 2014.
Webber, and his wife Lauren Jones were charged following an investigation into the death of their child in February 2013. According to testimony during the trial, it was believed the little girl died as a result of asphyxiation while in her crib. Webber and Jones admitted to giving the child the sleep aid ZzzQuil prior to laying her down. Investigators also attributed clutter inside the crib adding to the cause of death. Jones spent 90 days in county jail as part of an agreement with the state to testify against her husband at trial.
Defense attorney Robert E. Long of Tipp City filed both a motion for judicial release and appeal of the conviction on Webber’s behalf. Webber appeared in the court via video from the Noble Correctional Institution in Caldwell, Ohio at which time Judge Jonathan P. Hein granted the motion for judicial release.
According to the Judgement Entry filed with court, Judge Hein took into consideration “the goal of complying with Senate Bill 2, which is to reduce imprisonment for appropriate offenders.” In addition, placing Webber on community control “would not demean the severity of the offense, but would adequately protect the public and punish the defendant. Judicial release is also consistent with the provisions of House Bill 86, to reduce prison population through appropriate community sanctions.”
As part of the requirements for the terms of early release, Webber will be placed on intensive supervised probation for up to 60 months, serve 150 hours of community service, attend parenting and money management classes and is responsible for any outstanding funeral expenses associated with the death of his daughter.
If Webber fails to comply with the terms of the judicial release, he could be sent back to prison for the remaining two years of the sentence. In regards to Webber’s appeal, the Ohio District Court of Appeals has yet to rule on the motion to overturn the conviction. If overturned, Webber would no longer be on probation or required to meet the terms of the release granted by the Darke County court.