Family reacts to sentencing of Jesse Allison
PRINCETON, KY- In his closing arguments Thursday morning, lead defense attorney Jack Faust had one more chance with the jury, one more chance to convince them of his client's innocence.
"That's what this is about, Jesse was the last person that was with Ariel," he said of investigators pinning the death of Jesse Allison's infant daughter on him.
Jack Bargerhuff and his wife, Dawn listened as Faust once again tried to convince a jury Jesse Allison played no role in their granddaughter's death.
It was the second trial they had been through and Jack Bargerhuff said it was not proving any easier, "It's worse than round one. We've been through it once before and nothing happened."
Ariel Allison, 7 months old, had died in her Princeton home back in 2009. Investigators say her father smothered her. But a jury could not decide, deadlocking 6-6 on Allison's case last year.
But after three days of testimony and 4 hours of deliberations, this jury was able to deliver a verdict.
Allison, charged with murder, was found guilty on the lesser side of reckless homicide. He broke down, hearing his fate, convulsing into sobs.
The charge meant anywhere from 1-5 years behind bars.
Jack Faust asked the jury to consider leniency, "Jesse will lose those years of his life and he's already lost his daughter."
It was a plea that proved too much for Dawn. She stormed out of the courtroom in tears and did not return.
In the end, the jury would recommend those five years. Jack Bargerhuff said it did not lessen the blow of losing his only granddaughter.
He said later little Ariel's memory haunts him, "every hour of every day."
As he watched the handcuffs go back on his former son-in-law he said those 5 years simply were not enough, "That's all this is, a slap on the wrist."
Bargerhuff vowed to be at every parole hearing in the coming months and years, saying, "I'll be at every one as long as I can to keep him in."
Jack Faust said later the case was a difficult case to try since he was not allowed to enter into evidence the crib in question had been the subject of a recall. But, he tells Local 6, he was "pleased" with the verdict, considering his client had been charged with murder.
Sentencing for Jesse Allison is set for July 3rd at one o'clock. Until then he will remain in the Caldwell County Jail. He had bonded out last fall after the trial and was living at home.