Jessica Fax Gets 35-Year Prison Sentence In Death Of 12-Week-Old Niece

Friday, May 30, 2014

Jessica Lynne Fax pleaded guilty to second-degree murder on Friday in the death of her 12-week-old niece and was given a 35-year prison sentence.

Ms. Fax, 29, appeared before Criminal Court Judge Barry Steelman.

Mia Fry died in Oct. 8, 2012, while in the care of her aunt.

Her father, Jeremy Fry, had testified that the infant seemed fine when he and his wife left to go on their night shifts. Afterward, they believed for a couple of days that their daughter had died of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome).

Then word came from the medical examiner's office that she had severe blunt trauma to the head.

Ms. Fax's own daughter was at the house on Fort Sumter Drive where the infant died. The father said Ms. Fax, the wife of the brother of Mary Ann Fry, had babysat for the couple a few times before with no problems.

He said he played with Mia and saw her eat prior to going to his night job. He said she had a problem with soft tissue in her tracheal area when she was born and was in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for two weeks, but appeared fine that morning.

He said everyone was asleep when he got back home about 7 a.m. He said Ms. Fax woke up about 8 a.m. and his wife arrived home about 8:30 a.m.

He said he finally went to check on Mia because she appeared to be sleeping longer than normal. She was in a portable crib in his and his wife's bedroom, where Ms. Fax had slept.

The father said, "She didn't seem to be moving. Then I noticed that she was cold. She had a grayish color. She didn't look right."

He said he asked Ms. Fax to call 911 and he started doing CPR on the baby in the living room. He said when emergency personnel arrived, they told him "there was nothing they could do." The child was eventually taken straight to the medical examiner's office.

Mr. Fry said when he first carried Mia downstairs and said she was not responding, Ms. Fax said, "Oh, no, no, no." He said she took the other girls in the house out back so they would not witness the situation with Mia. The Frys also have girls ages 6, 4 and almost 2.

The child's mother said she talked several times with Ms. Fax in the two days prior to the child's death and before her arrest.

She said at the time, "We all thought it was SIDS."

Det. Rick Whaley said when he arrived at the home around 10 a.m. the child was in rigor mortis. He said that sets in 6-8 hours after death, putting the time of death at from 2-4 a.m.

He said there was no visible trauma on the child. But he later received a call from the medical examiner's office and was told, "You had better get down here."

The county detective said the autopsy had shown multiple blunt trauma to the baby's head. He said there were "some serious skull fractures." There was an overlay of spider-web cracks on the side of the skull and a major egg-shell crack that went almost across the top of the skull.

He said Ms. Fax then agreed to come in and be interviewed. He said she first said she knew of no injury to the baby, then she later said that Mia had dropped head first out of her lap onto the living room floor. She said she was fine afterward and ate before going down.

The detective said the carpet in the living room is heavily padded and the injuries could not have been caused by such a fall.

He said the autopsy showed the child's stomach empty. He said she would not have been able to have eaten after suffering the blows to the head.   


Tom Graves Co-Sponsors Legislation To Award Purple Heart To Victims Of Chattanooga Terror Attack

Representative Tom Graves issued the following statement concerning his co-sponsorship of H.Res. 383, a bipartisan congressional resolution expressing the sense of Congress that the sailors and marines who were killed or injured in the domestic terrorist attack in Chattanooga, should be awarded the Purple Heart:   “Any member of the Armed Forces who is killed or wounded ... (click for more)

Senator Kelsey Files Amendment To Keep Local Funding In Hall Tax Repeal

Local governments would not lose revenue after repeal of the Hall tax under legislation sponsored by Senator Brian Kelsey (R-Germantown). Senator Kelsey, who continued to assert that the time is right for repeal of the tax, filed a “hold harmless” amendment on Tuesday which calls for providing cities and counties payment from the state based on an average of the last five years ... (click for more)

VW PILOT Crash Landing

The Volkswagen emission scandal proves the point citizen activist, Ms. Helen Burns Sharp, has repeatedly brought to the attention of local government officials. She urged them to "beef up" the PILOT contracts before approving PILOT tax abatements. Any logical person would agree, because it is the only way to recoup a tax loss when unthinkable situations arise. Volkswagen's willful ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Readers Are Right

Jeffrey Cross is a community activist in the very finest way. He has no idea that I and many others have followed what he has done, and tirelessly I might add, to enhance the St. Elmo neighborhood at the foot of Lookout Mountain. I wish this world had a million Jeffrey Crosses. So when he wrote in protest of my Monday story, “We Want Our City Back,” I was more than eager to read ... (click for more)

Lady 'Canes Beat Bradley, Set Up Showdown With Ooltewah

CLEVELAND, Tenn. – East Hamilton and Bradley Central had played four times before their District 5-3A volleyball tournament opener on Monday. The two teams split the series. Monday’s match was clearly more important than the previous four, since the winner advanced in the district tourney and the loser went home. The No. 4 seed Lady Hurricanes (21-15) rallied impressively ... (click for more)

CSAS Advances In 5-A Volleyball With Win Over Copper Basin

Samantha Green didn't have any idea what her team's overall record was, but all that matters is that her CSAS Lady Patriots won their opening-round match of the District 5-A tournament on Monday at Silverdale and will face top-seeded Grace on Tuesday in the semifinals. The Lady Patriots beat the Copper Basin Lady Cougars on Monday, needing less than an hour to advance as CSAS ... (click for more)