By Ed Runyan
Jennifer Light, 33, the mother of a 4-year-old Bazetta Township boy who died June 15 after police say Light’s boyfriend punched him in the stomach, has pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and obstructing justice.
Light has agreed to testify regarding the blow Scott Walker, 33, delivered to Nicholas Partin’s stomach and the other events surrounding the boy’s death.
Judge Andrew Logan accepted her plea Tuesday in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court and ordered the county Adult Probation Department to conduct a presentence investigation.
Light’s plea agreement, which involved several charges against her being dropped, calls for her to serve between five and 10 years in prison, said Diane Barber, assistant county prosecutor.
Barber said in court that Light saw Walker hit her son June 14, saw him double over and say “ouch,” but failed to get medical attention for him.
The blow caused slow internal bleeding that ultimately led to the boy’s death, Barber said.
The two counts of obstructing justice pertain to statements she made to a Bazetta police detective and personnel at Valley-Care Trumbull Memorial Hospital on June 15, saying she had taken the boy to St. Joseph Health Center the previous day after he ingested carpet cleaner.
In truth, she had not taken the boy to the hospital the previous day, Barber said.
Light, Walker, Nicholas, Light’s 8-year-old son and other members of Light’s family lived together at a house on North Park Extension near Everett Hull Road.
Walker was indicted on a murder charge, which carries a possible penalty of 15 years to life in prison. He admitted to investigators that he hit the boy in the stomach but claims he hit him with a backhanded blow.
Police were called to the North Park residence at 3:15 a.m. June 15 and found the boy on the island counter in the kitchen unresponsive. A Bazetta officer performed life-saving measures, but the boy was pronounced dead later at Trumbull Memorial.
Light remains in the county jail.
Her sentencing will take place after Walker’s case wraps up.