Man Gets 3 Years in Prison for Child Neglect

Brandon Hobbs, the man who was charged last February in a case of child neglect leading to the death of a 10-year-old girl, has been sentenced to three years in prison.

Hobbs was sentenced by Elkhart Superior Court Three in Goshen, Indiana, on two counts, on Friday, July 5, and accepted a plea deal for neglect of a dependent, in relation to his two children, 10 and 9, who were both on the autism spectrum and needed permanent special attention by their caregivers, according to Associated Press.

The 10-year-old girl, whose identity has not been revealed, died on June 9, 2018, while she was in the custody of Hobbs and his girlfriend, Erica Reschke. An autopsy revealed the girl had high levels of amphetamine in her system,

Reschke reportedly accepted an assignment of cleaning out a home in Elkhart County, Indiana, while the owner was out of town. The couple, both from Cassopolis, just north of the state border in Michigan, decided to bring the children to the home in Elkhart to spend the night.

In the house—which both suspects independently described as a hoarder house due to its chaotic state—the children got access to the meth, and possibly marijuana, and to unsealed firearm cases.

The 10-year-old also suffered from pica disorder, an affliction whereby the patient tends to eat or swallow non-edible objects. Upon the child’s death, the medical examiner found coins, as well as plastic and wooden objects in the girl’s body, according to WNDU.

High doses of methamphetamine were also found in the girl’s body, which caused methamphetamine toxicity and severe bowel constipation and internal complications, which may have given rise to a “natural cause” of death.

Reschke first told police she didn’t know about the whereabouts of the meth, but later admitted she had purchased it in Michigan and without Hobb’s knowledge, stashed it somewhere in the house, but claimed to have forgotten where she had left it.

Reportedly, the 10-year-old started to throw up on the evening of June 8, 2018, and by the next day, the couple noticed that she had stopped breathing. Reschke called 911, and Hobbs performed CPR on the child, but to no avail.

Though Hobbs got the maximum punishment for two counts of neglect of a dependant, social media like Facebook was buzzing with commenters condemning the punishment as too lenient.

“That was a slap on the wrist,” wrote someone going by the name of Sherri Redmond on Facebook. “The courts need to rethink some of their decisions. Some are totally ridiculous, think some judges need to retire.”

Beatrice Sergent added, “Three years is not very long for a life. This is a disgrace on the part of the Judge. Maybe justice will be served in prison.”

Reschke faces two counts of neglect of a dependent resulting in death, a level 1 felony, and one count of neglect of a dependent, a level 6 felony. Her trial is scheduled for July 18. If convicted, she may get a maximum of 42 1/2 years imprisonment at the Indiana Department of Correction.