DA SHAW: MAXIMUM SENTENCE GIVES JUSTICE FOR BABY SOPHIA

                  Jennifer Medzie

CLEARFIELD – Clearfield County District Attorney, William A. Shaw, Jr., announced today that a sentence has been handed down for the November 2013 death of two-year-old baby Sophia.

Shaw stated that President Judge Fredric Ammerman imposed the maximum sentence allowed by law when sentencing Jennifer Ann Medzie, age 22, to a minimum of 20 years and a maximum of 40 years in state prison.

On August 25, 2016, Trooper David Patrick, of the Pennsylvania State Police, Woodland Barracks, filed a Criminal Complaint charging Medzie with: 1) Criminal Homicide; 2) Aggravated Assault, F1; 3) Endangering the Welfare of Children, F3; 4) Simple Assault, M2; and 5) Recklessly Endangering Another Person, M2.

An affidavit of probable cause filed by Trooper Patrick states that on the night of November 14, 2013, Baby Sophia went to sleep in her pack-in-play where she slept until the next morning.  Baby Sophia’s father left for work around 5:00 a.m. and before doing so checked on the child and found her to be sleeping in her room without issue.  At approximately 6:30 a.m. on the same day, the Defendant, who had been living with the father since September 2013, woke up.  At approximately 7:20 a.m. the Defendant went to Baby Sophia’s room and found the child awake.  The Defendant then took Baby Sophia to the living room and began to take her out of her footie pajamas.  The Defendant asked the child if she peed in her diaper.  The Defendant made the child sit on her potty chair in the family room.  The Defendant then cleaned Baby Sophia and began to dress her.  While dressing, Baby Sophia went limp and the Defendant called for assistance.  At approximately 8:45 a.m. emergency services were called, and Baby Sophia was taken to the Clearfield Hospital Emergency Room.  Baby Sophia was then taken by Life Flight to the Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh.  Baby Sophia was examined at Children’s Hospital and found to have suffered abusive head trauma including bilateral subdural hematomas and retinal hemorrhaging.  Baby Sophia died, and an autopsy revealed that she suffered from global-hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy resulting from blunt force trauma to the head.  A pathologist report indicates that Baby Sophia would have become symptomatic within minutes of receiving the injuries and this would be inconsistent with the Defendant’s statement that she was dressing the child and the child went limp.

On August 23, 2017, following a three-day trial, a jury returned a verdict finding Medzie guilty of Murder in the Third Degree.   The jury also found Medzie guilty of Aggravated Assault, Simple Assault, Endangering the Welfare of Children, and Recklessly Endangering Another Person.

On November 16, 2017, Medzie appeared for sentencing.  During the proceedings, Shaw reminded the Court of the facts of the case, as well as Medzie’ s testimony during trial.  Among other things, Shaw pointed out that when the ambulance initially arrived to treat baby Sophia, Medzie failed to inform the emergency providers that baby Sophia suffered head trauma.  Instead, Medzie said she didn’t know what was wrong.  Medzie continued this ruse while at the Clearfield Hospital and again at the Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh.  Medzie was asked multiple times by medical providers attempting to diagnose baby Sophia what was wrong.  In response, Medzie simply said she “didn’t know.”  After baby Sophia’s death, Medize admitted to state police investigators that she hit baby Sophia’s head on a coffee table while changing her diaper.  At trial, two pathologists testified that baby Sophia suffered from blunt force trauma to her head in at least six separate locations. Dr. Harry Kammerow, a pathologist from Centre County, testified that the injuries baby Sophia received were inconsistent with Medzie’ s version of events.

President Judge Fredric Ammerman pointed out that the evidence presented at trial cleary established that baby Sophia was beaten multiple times, and the abuse was probably occurring for five to six weeks.  Ammerman then sentenced Medzie to a minimum of 20 years and a maximum of 40 years in state prison.  Ammerman noted this was the maximum sentence permitted by law.

Following sentencing, Shaw stated that he was extremely satisfied with the sentence.  Shaw said the Commonwealth has been working on this case for years and it is satisfying to see that baby Sophia has finally received justice.  Shaw commended Trooper Dave Patrick, the investigating officer, and thanked the State Police for their tireless efforts in pursuing this case.

Anyone with knowledge or information about a crime is asked to call Clearfield County Crime Stoppers at (800)-376-4700.

All calls to Crime Stoppers are confidential.  Anonymous tips can also be submitted by visiting the Clearfield County District Attorney web site at “www.ClearfieldDA.org” and selecting “Report A Crime”.

CALL TODAY

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1 (800) 376-4700

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