Thursday, February 21, 2008

Updated: Words fail me

February 20, 2008

People v. Tracy D. Hermann
People v. James E. Sargent

Peoria County Case 08 CF 200

On February 12, 2008, Peoria Police responded to a call at
3012 W. Proctor Street in Peoria. Found dead and strapped in a
car seat set that had been placed in a crib was 5 month old
Benjamin Sargent. The defendants are his parents.
Benjamin was wearing a blue snow suit. It was zipped up.
The temperature in the room was near 80 degrees. Benjamin’s
eyes were open, his hands were clenched in a fistlike position
and, although dead, his eyes were staring straight ahead.

Police investigation and medical and pathological
examination would reveal that Benjamin had been strapped into
this car seat and had not left it in eight days. All waste and urine
had collected beneath him and his buttocks, legs and back were
eaten into by the resulting poison. Some waste left in Benjamin’s
colon revealed resulted in constipation because it could not be
pushed out of his body due to starvation.

James Sargent was present at the house and, when
interviewed on that day, and again on February 18, his answers
to questions confirmed for police that Benjamin had been
returned to the residence on February 4, 2008, by a grandmother
and he was in the same car seat, wearing the same snow suit,
and confined in the same manner as when he was found dead 8
days later. A person who ‘stayed’ with others in the garage of the
defendants told police that he was the one who observed
Benjamin in the car seat, and on the living room floor, and that it
was he who found this odd and so, he placed the child (while in
the car seat) in a baby crib in a bedroom.

The house was kept in an outrageous condition with
nothing in its place, food left out and spoiled, and belongings
scattered everywhere. Clothing, articles, spoilage, and debris
were stacked everywhere around the house.

James Sargent told police he “thought” he had maybe
moved Benjamin once or twice during the eight day period but,
upon further questioning, he conceded that he may not have
been moved at all. The person from the garage tells police that
Benjamin was found just as he had left him eight days earlier.

The 'mother' was in Iowa, where she had gone to see-a
male boyfriend she found over the internet. She told police that
caring for her baby Benjamin was not her duty and that it was
James' responsibility. Before heading to Iowa on the day before
Benjamin was found dead, Tracy Hermann said she looked at
the baby in the crib and presumed he was sleeping so she said
she stuck a bottle between the baby and the side of the carseat
so that when he woke up he could grab it and feed himself if he
was hungry. In case the court missed it earlier, Benjamin
Sargent was five months old.

Tracy Hermann also has a daughter, almost 3, who Tracy
Hermann seems to have 'given'away' to a family member. A
shelter care hearing on that matter now pends in the circuit court
because I am also seeking to remove her permanently and
forever from any contact with Tracy Herman.

Preliminary examination of Benjamin Sargent’s body
showed that he weighed 10 pounds, suffered from sepsis in the
blood and tissue, was without proper liquid and food and that he
died from starvation due to neglect by the two defendants who
stand before you, Tracey D. Herman and James E. Sargent.

This case file was printed in today's edition of the Peoria Journal Star


Here is the obit that appeared in the paper. The emphasis is mine.

PEORIA - Benjamin Allen Reeve Sargent, 5 months, of Peoria passed away Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2008, at his residence in Peoria.

Benjamin was born Aug. 27, 2007, to James E. Sargent and Tracy Del Hermann of Peoria.

Benjamin is survived by his loving parents; a sister, Natalie-Grace Hermann of Peoria; grandparents, Thomas Eugene (Rosemary Irene) Sargent of Marquette Heights, Ill., and Wendell Allen (Connie Lou) Bohna of Topeka, Ill.; great-grandparents, James Murrell of Washington, Ill., Del (Marian) Bruderer of Tremont, Utah, and Cozette Bohna of Beaverton, Ore.; uncles, John Oliver Bohna of Topeka, Ill., and Joseph Conrad Bohna of Peoria; aunts, Kellie Christine Kuberski of McMinnville, Ore., Jennie Rose Eilene Bohna of Topeka, Ill., and Julie Ann Bohna of Topeka, Ill.; and great-aunts, Brenda Murrell of Washington, Ill., Ruth Damm of Washington, Ill., and Linda (Dr. Daniel) Hoffman of Mount Vernon, Ill.

Services will be at 1 p.m. Monday, Feb. 18, 2008, at Davison-Fulton Woodland Chapel in Peoria, with Pastor Rod Willy presiding. Visitation will be one hour prior to services on Monday. Interment will be in Parkview Cemetery in Peoria.

Memorials may be made to the family.


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