- Associated Press - Friday, December 26, 2014

LAKE CHARLES, La. (AP) - Thirty years in prison is too much for a first conviction for child abuse, the state 3rd Circuit Court of Appeal has ruled.

The 2-1 ruling ordered Judge Clayton Davis to re-sentence Jamie Brooks Day, 32, of Lake Charles. She was convicted a year ago of second-degree cruelty to a juvenile - her stepson.

Prosecutors said they will appeal to the Louisiana Supreme Court, the American Press (http://bit.ly/13H7zBx) reported.

The boy was 9 years old and weighed 38 pounds when he was brought to a hospital in 2010. He testified that - among other things - Day burned him with a blow-dryer and with a sock full of rice, let him eat only grits, ramen noodles and rice, and made him eat his own feces. He also testified that she hung him upside down by his ankles; Saran-wrapped him to his bed; hit him in the face with a dustpan and threw a screwdriver at him.

The defense argued that the boy refused to eat and injured himself, and that previous abuse left him troubled when his father, Murry Day, married Jamie Brooks Day.

The boy’s behavior was “difficult” and “outrageous,” Judge John Saunders wrote for the majority. Much of the harm that was inflicted upon the child was “unintentional,” resulting from his refusal to eat and some of his bruises were likely self-inflicted, he wrote.

Judge Jimmie Peters joined with Saunders; Judge James Genovese dissented.

Day “is a young woman, who attended church throughout her life, took good care of her biological children, and had no history of crime or violence,” Saunders wrote. “Thus, she is likely a good candidate for rehabilitation.”

After 11 months behind bars, Murry Day pleaded no contest to being an accessory after the fact to second-degree cruelty to a juvenile. He was sentenced to three years in prison. The earlier time was applied to his sentence, so he is free.

Day is being held at Louisiana Correctional Institute for Women in St. Gabriel.

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Information from: American Press, http://www.americanpress.com

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