Clearfield County woman sentenced to 20-40 years in death of toddler

Clearfield, Clearfield County, Pa. - A Clearfield County woman found guilty of shaking and beating a toddler to death will spend the next 20 to 40 years behind bars. A jury found Jennifer Medzie guilty of third degree murder back in August. 

Tearful testimony heard from both sides before the sentencing Monday afternoon. One side begged for mercy and the other justice.

 


In August Jennifer Medzie was found guilty of third degree murder in the death of 2 year old baby Sophia Hoffman-Lauder. Evidence during the trial showed the baby died after multiple blows to the head. 

On Monday, Sophia's father, Cody Lauder and his family asked for Medzie to receive the maximum sentence so she cannot hurt another child again. While Medzie's family and pastor spoke on behalf of the 22 year old, calling her a compassionate person. More than 30 letters were sent into the judge on the defenses behalf.

"Friends neighbors family members wrote a lot of letters of support. Again, she's a pretty young woman. Only 22 years old and only 18 at the time of the incident. So, in many ways she's still a very young woman, if not even child like," says her defense attorney Robert Donaldson. 

Medzie spoke to the courtroom today maintaining her innocence. She explained that she's not violent person. "I don't have a mean bone in my body... I'd like to be out with my family," stated Medzie. 

"When she had an opportunity to address the courtroom she failed to take that time to apologize or show any type of remorse. It was all about what she wanted to do. I think that it's telling for the judge," explains District Attorney Bill Shaw.

Donaldson says they're hoping to get a reduced sentence in the future. The defense attorney states they will be filing for reconsideration of the sentencing made on Monday.
He says he also has hopes to file an appeal of that guilty verdict, once he reviews the transcripts of the trial. 

"This was a fairly harsh sentence, and the judge had a very hard  balancing act here. He said that on record and I'm respectful of his decision, but I'm hopeful after things cool down he may reconsider and reduce that sentence."

Meanwhile, Shaw says justice for Sophia was served in this sentencing "It's important that we take our time and investigate these things methodically so at the end of the day we can be assured we had a sentence like today."
 
Medzie will be taken to the State Correctional Institution at Mucy for Women.
 

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