A Salem man returned Thursday afternoon to Washington Circuit Court and entered a blind guilty plea for the battery and neglect of a dependent resulting in death of eight-month-old Leelan Crain in September 2013.
Stephen JBeardsley, a court-appointed New Albany attorney charged with defending Lykins, presented the blind plea in court on Thursday along with the defendant.
Circuit Court Judge Larry Medlock accepted the guilty plea and Jamie Lykins will be charged with Count 2, Battery Resulting in Death, a Class A Felony & Count 3, Neglect Resulting in Death, a Class A Felony.
“We had been working on this plea for a while. Sometimes the defense uses this as a way to admit guilt but also leave the sentencing up to the judge,” said Washington County Prosecutor Dustin Houchin. “We got the same result as a conviction in a jury trial. So it’s a victory. The difference is a blind plea, we are held by the judge’s decision at sentencing.”
The court ordered a pre-sentence investigative report and set the sentencing hearing for July 22 at 8:30 a.m.
Lykins could face up to 50 years in prison, said Houchin.
A jury trial had been planned for June 2, but that has now been cancelled.
During the sentencing, Houchin said both sides will call witnesses in order to present as much information to the judge as possible.
Leelan was found unresponsive in his crib last September and later died at a Louisville hospital.
Lykins has been incarcerated at the Washington County Detention Center, along with his girlfriend, Casey Crain, who is facing a Class A Felony charge of Neglect Of Dependent Resulting In Death.
Currently, several pretrial conferences for Crain have been reset, with the latest one set for June 26. A jury trial that was set for this month has been re-scheduled by the court for August 05.
The couple were arrested after incidents were investigated after Crain’s baby was found unresponsive by his mother while Leelan was taking a nap.
Crain and Lykins took Leelan to the St. Vincent’s Hospital in Salem on Saturday, Sept. 7 after friends convinced them Leelan needed medical care.
Once at St. Vincent Salem, Leelan was transported to the Kosair Children’s Hospital in Louisville, Ky., by air ambulance.
He was pronounced dead at approximately 1:41 a.m., Sept. 8.
An autopsy was performed Sunday morning, Sept. 8, on Leelan at the Kentucky Medical Examiner’s Office in Louisville, Ky.
The autopsy preliminary determined the cause of death as blunt force trauma to the head.