Woman sentenced for endangering 7-week-old child

A woman who was convicted of endangering the welfare of her 7-week-old baby received a mitigated sentence Monday for her good behavior since the initial charges were filed in 2009.

“You did anything and everything you could do to remedy the situation,” Lycoming County Judge Marc F. Lovecchio told Karrie Croucher, 24, of Williamsport, who was sentenced to two years intermediate punishment, 50 hours community service and 60 days of electronic monitoring.

Lovecchio waived the cost of the electronic monitoring, citing the financial burden it would pose on Croucher.

A jury convicted Croucher of the felony offense in March of this year after a three-day trial in which Assistant District Attorney Martin Wade argued that Croucher’s neglect of her child resulted in the baby suffering bone fractures to his arms and legs, as well as a head injury. The baby also was found to be malnourished when his injuries were brought to light in October of 2009. At the trial, the prosecution argued that Croucher had diluted the baby’s formula with water, Lovecchio said,

Though Wade had hoped for a harsher sentence, he told Lovecchio that “the felony is a badge she will always carry.”

During the sentencing hearing, public defender Nicole Spring referenced Croucher’s achievements since the abuse allegations were made. Croucher attained her GED diploma and graduated from Empire Beauty School, where she interacted with Spring’s daughter.

Spring said her daughter had told her that Croucher always was “extremely mild-mannered” when caring for her baby.

As he determined Croucher’s sentence, Lovecchio invoked an investigation by Children and Youth Services, which closed its case on Croucher in 2012, concluding that she did not pose a danger to her child. The agency has not reopened its investigation in the wake of Croucher’s March conviction, and Croucher have successfully completed extensive counseling.

“It speaks volumes that the Children and Youth case is closed,” Spring argued.

“This tells me the baby is safe in your hands, despite what you’ve done,” Lovecchio said. “I think you love and care for your child.”