Edwardsburg couple gets probation for child abuse

Published 3:19 pm Friday, March 15, 2024

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CASSOPOLIS — An Edwardsburg couple was sentenced for third degree child abuse after leaving drugs around the house that almost killed their three year old daughter.

Jeffrey Garland Thomas Cooper, 27, now of Niles, pleaded guilty to third degree child abuse and was sentenced to three years probation, credit for five days served and $2,188 in fines and costs.

Carla Marie Crume, 25, of Stateline Road in Edwardsburg, pleaded guilty to third degree child abuse and was sentenced under delayed sentencing to 11 months probation, credit for 16 days served and $1,438 in fines and costs. The charge will be reduced to misdemeanor neglect if she is successful on probation.

The incident occurred Dec. 16, 2022 at a home in Edwardsburg. Police found their three old child suffering from a drug overdose. The girl recovered after receiving two doses of Narcan.

“He (Cooper) abused and neglected the most precious cargo we have on earth,” Prosecutor Victor Fitz said. “Hopefully the child is resilient and recovers. He jeopardized the life of another human being, it’s just a terrible crime.”

Defense attorney Robert Drake said Cooper has been working on his addiction.

“I made a lot of mistakes, I can’t change that now, it’s hard to rectify that,” Cooper said. “I’ve been sober for several months, I’m asking you give me a chance to show I can do it.”

Cass County Circuit Judge Mark Herman noted that Cooper’s life has been controlled by drugs.

“If you don’t get drugs out of your life, that’s how you’re going to live,” he said. “You’re a poster child of how drugs drag you down, it will be a lifelong struggle.”

Judge Herman gave a similar message to Crume.

“You’re the poster child of the devastation drugs cause to innocent children in society,” he said.