Dangerous dad's past revealed after baby's death
CALDWELL COUNTY, Ky. — Troubling information about a suspect in the murder case his own young daughter, information revealed after the trial.
He was charged with murdering his own baby girl but convicted of the much lesser crime of reckless homicide, which carries a much lighter sentence.
Only now that the court case is over, new information is coming to light about the defendant, Jesse Allison.
Local 6 learned his 7-month-old daughter Ariel was not the first to die in his care. In fact, according to reports from the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services, initially obtained by the Lexington Herald Leader, Allison admitted to multiple violent acts.
The trouble started in 2000 in Virginia, where Jesse Allison pleaded guilty to child neglect.
He admitted to pinching and punching his 3-month old son and bouncing him face down like a basketball. Allison said he did this because he was stressed.
The documents say in Kentucky, in 2003, Allison beat up his girlfriend, kicked her in the leg and punched her in the ribs and mouth.
In 2008, Jesse Allison's infant daughter Erin mysteriously died while in his care in Princeton, Kentucky. The coroner said the baby girl died of "inflicted asphyxiation" but Allison was never charged with a crime.
Then in 2009, baby Ariel was found dead in her Caldwell County crib. Allison is accused of smothering her. He claims it was a faulty crib.
Ariel's grieving grandfather said the baby girl didn't have to die and if he or anyone in the family had known about Allison's abusive past, they could've saved Ariel's life.
The 135 pages report depicts abuse that is painful to read. Ariel Allison's grandfather Jack Bargerhuff is furious he didn't know about sooner.
"If we had known that what we know now, there's a good chance she would still be here," Bargerhuff said.
Could baby Ariel's family have saved her from the hands of her own father?
Bargerhuff said yes. He knew about Allison's first daughter's mysterious death in 2008 but not the multiple assaults he admitted to starting in 2000.
Aware of Allison's history, the state found he presented no risk to his family, Bargerhuff's daughter and granddaughter.
Bargerhuff is also baffled by Allison's court case, one that started with a murder charge but ended in reckless homicide, carrying a much lesser sentence of one to five years in jail.
"He gets to go on with his life while my granddaughter lays in the grave," he said.
Bargerhuff said he's not just angry but also worries about what Allison will do when he gets out of jail.
"It could very well happen again," Bargerhuff said.
While Bargerhuff is very displeased with the jury's decision, he had only good things to say about the prosecutor, assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Carrie Ovey-Wiggins. They want to publicly thank her for her hard work on the case.
The prosecutor said there's a rule of evidence that says someone cannot be tried on their past. The cause of the other baby's death was undetermined, so in the eyes of the law, the cases aren't similar.
She said she wishes she could've presented the information. She knew about all this but the court didn't allow it.
However the information will be used in the sentencing phase. The prosecutor will ask for the maximum sentence of five years in jail.
Allison will be sentenced July 3. Until then, he remains at the Caldwell County Jail.