WAUKEGAN, IL — The Illinois woman accused of killing a 3-month-old baby, allegedly by violently slamming her down on a table, has pleaded not guilty to murder.
Sarah Gumm, 33, is facing life behind bars if she is convicted of the multiple murder and battery charges filed against her in connection to the death of Rylan “Turtle” Koopmeiners, the baby girl she’d been babysitting for six weeks.
On July 27, Rylan was rushed to the hospital after Gumm called 911 to report that Rylan was not breathing. She was pronounced shortly after arrival and an autopsy report would reveal that the girl had a skull fracture and cranial hemorrhaging.
Her cause of death was listed as blunt force trauma, the medical examiner noting a significant amount of force caused the fracture and that Rylan probably died within an hour of receiving the injuries.
Gumm would later admit to investigators that she had gotten angry after Rylan became fussy during a diaper change. “She admitted she put the baby down on a table such that the baby’s head hit the table,” Lake County assistant State’s Attorney Ari Fisz said. She also told investigators that before she called 911, Rylan had made some throat noises before she stopped breathing.
During their investigation, police would also learn that Gumm had left Rylan alone in the home that day. Gumm, who Rylan’s parents had hired through an online service, initially said she’d been home all that day, but a neighbor saw Gumm come home in a taxi that afternoon. She would admit to leaving the baby home alone after investigators found she’d used her credit card at 9:30 a.m. and 1:50 p.m. on July 27.
Gumm was arrested and charged with 14 counts of first-degree murder, including first-degree murder with ”exceptional brutal behavior indicative of wanton cruelty” and two aggravated battery charges.
As a teary-eyed, shackled Gumm faced Judge Christopher Stride yesterday, she was informed that she’s facing up to life in prison for six of the first-degree murder counts and 60 to 100 years for the remaining first-degree counts. She also faces 30 to 60 years in prison for one of the aggravated battery counts and six to 30 years in prison for the other count. She pleaded not guilty to all of the charges.
Last month, Gumm’s attorney stated that a rush to judgment is a bad idea and that he looked forward to “critically challenging how this baby died and whether or not anyone was really responsible for the death.” So with the evidence the prosecutors have, and that proposed defense, I’m going to go out on a limb by predicting Gumm is screwed.
She’s expected back in court in October for a status date, with a tentative trial date set for sometime in January.Tags: babysitter, Crime, Illinois, Murder, Sarah Gumm, table