After a little more than an hour of deliberation, Washington Circuit Judge Larry Medlock returned to the courtroom, delivering a rebuke to Jamie Lykins for his role in the death of 8 month old Leelan Crain on September 7, 2013 and handed him the maximum penalty of 50 years to be served concurrently. For the charges he pled guilty to in May, Lykins received 50 years for Battery Resulting in Death, a Class A Felony & 40 years for Neglect Resulting in Death, a Class A Felony.
“This was not an accident,” said Judge Medlock. “This was a deliberate act of rage against this tiny human. You had many people come out today because they love you and care for you. Leelan will never get the opportunity to look on people who love him because of your bad choices.”
Stephen Beardsley, Lykin’s defense attorney had argued that Lykins should only receive the minimum of 30 years on each charge – mainly because he had pled guilty and was a first-time offender.
Medlock said he had spent a lot of time trying to balance all the factors in the case. Since Lykins pled guilty in May, there was no jury trial. Crain’s trial is now set for December 2, 2014.
However, at the sentencing that began at about 9a this morning, evidence was presented by Washington County Prosecuting Attorney Dustin Houchin as well as by Beardsley.
Houchin’s witnesses provided information aimed at giving Medlock the means to deliver the maximum sentence while Beardley was attempting to show his client in a softer light and get a reduced sentence.
Houchin presented evidence from a forensic pathologist with some horrific photos of Leelan Crain’s body, witnesses, character witnesses and Keith Barry, a Washington County Probation officer.
Other factors Medlock used in deciding the sentencing of this case included the brutality of the beating and Lykins’ previous drug use.
The pathologist who testified earlier in the morning said there were at least 12 impacts in the head area and at least seven on the torso of Leelan’s body.
Lykins and Casey Crain 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.
One of the witnesses earlier in the day, Dawn Walker, said she had gotten to know Crain a few weeks before Leelan’s death.
“I had heard from some friends that Casey might need some help,” said Walker. “I spent some time with Leelan…he was a really good baby. I tried to establish a relationship with her and help her out.”
Walker said she was out of work and took jobs babysitting children in the area.
On the night of September 7, Walker was to come to the Lykin’s residence and watch Leelan during the evening while Lykins and Crain went fishing with another couple.
Walker said she when arrived, something was wrong.
Walker then described what happened next: “The other couple was on the back porch and Jamie was pacing around. I went inside and he said to me. ‘We have a problem. I beat the fuck out of baby Leelan.’”
Walker said when she first saw the baby, both eyes were closed, an ear was purple and he was having trouble breathing.
“They were afraid CPS was going to come in and find out and they wouldn’t have a place to stay,” said Walker.
Other witnesses were Leelan’s grandmother, Melissa Padgett, who was called to the stand to identify a picture from last summer.
The photo was of Lykins, Crain and the baby. In the photo, the baby appeared to have a bruise.
Padgett said she asked her daughter about it and she told her that the baby had fallen forward on his swing and sustained the injury.
Another witness for Lykins was Yvonne Casey, who had grown up near the family at Southway Villa Trailer Park and was known to the accused as “Aunt Vonne.”
She said Jamie grew up with one of her sons since the two were seven years old.
“He would come to me when he needed things or to talk,” said Casey. “One time he came to me needing money and a condom. I gave him some money. I tried to help the boys stay protected.”
Casey said she knew of Lykin’s drug use and knew he had started using spice and was hanging out with the wrong people.
In June 2013, Casey said she saw Lykins at Cowboy’s Food Store on Salem’s Southside and told him that he needed to get a job and clean his life up.
“He looked like he was on something,” said Casey. “He told me he wasn’t.”
Testimony from several witnesses throughout the day noted that both Lykins and Crain were taking meth and Heroin on a nearly daily basis.
Houchin said he had no proof they were using the drugs on the day Leelan died.
“I’ve been in involved with murder cases where people did horrible things to each other,” Judge Medlock said. “Mostly, these were adults who could defend themselves or had done something to instigate the violence, but Leelan couldn’t do that.”
In passing down the maximum sentence, Medlock noted to Lykins:
“Leelan had a life expectancy of more than 75.9 years,” Medlock said. “You being 25, have a life expectancy of 52.2 years. I’m 56. So no matter how long I sentence you, you’ll be released from prison before you reach my age. If I gave you anything less than 50 years, I think it would send the wrong message to the other members of the community.”
At the end of the hearing, Lykins was returned to Washington County Jail to await being taken to the Indiana Department of Correction.