77days for murder
Posted in the Sturgis Forum
#1 Sep 10, 2011
A 15 month old girl named alyssa was beaten to death and her murdere set free! All of this happened in your neighboring county! Lagrange indiana! Do you want to give baby Alyssa a voice and see her killer brought to justice? Join us fri sept 16 at the Lagrange county court house at 4:30 pm to protest! For mor info go to the face book page 77days for murder!
#2 Sep 10, 2011
Tell me more, can you post a link to a news article about this case.
Would like to help
#3 Sep 15, 2011
Tyler Sprunger of Shipshewana, center, holds a sign reading "77 Days for Murder" as he leads a protest outside the LaGrange County Courthouse Friday afternoon. With him are supporters T.J. Hargett of Sturgis, Mich., left, and Chris Millar of LaGrange.
September 13, 2011
LaGrange County man feels judge’s sentence of foster mom too lenient
By SCOTT WEISSER
THE GOSHEN NEWS
LaGRANGE — At not quite 4:30 p.m. Friday, Tyler Sprunger was busy with a black marker.
The Shipshewana man was bent over the open trunk of a Pontiac Sunfire angle-parked outside the LaGrange County Courthouse. In the car was a sign.
“Just touching it up, filling it in a little bit,” he later explained of his work on the sign, which contained a message he was about to make public. Again.
“77 Days for Murder,” it read.
Friday marked Sprunger’s third time staging a protest outside the courthouse. He wants to send a message about his cousin, Christy Shaffer of Topeka; his niece, 15-month-old Alissa Guernsey; and the judicial system.
Little Alissa is dead. Shaffer was originally sentenced to a prison term in connection with the toddler’s death. A judge later modified that sentence to six months home detention and three years on probation.
That’s not Sprunger’s idea of justice.
#4 Sep 15, 2011
Sequence of events
Alissa Guernsey was born Nov. 2, 2007, the daughter of Kelli Sprunger. The child later became a ward of the state and was placed into foster care with Sprunger’s cousin, Christy Shaffer.
Alissa died March 28, 2009, while in Shaffer’s care. According to media accounts, court filings and Tyler Sprunger, the child died of blunt force trauma.
The LaGrange County coroner referred inquiries to the county prosecutor’s office Monday. The prosecutor’s staff hadn’t returned a phone call seeking comment by The News’ deadline.
Tyler Sprunger’s sign aside, Shaffer was never charged with murder. In June 2009, a grand jury indicted Shaffer on two counts of neglect of a dependant, one a Class B felony charge and the other a Class C felony. The grand jury proceedings have been sealed by court order.
Shaffer pleaded guilty to the Class B felony neglect charge in February of this year. On May 25, LaGrange Circuit Court Judge J. Scott VanDerbeck sentenced Shaffer to four years in the Indiana Department of Correction, three years on probation and one year of home monitoring after her release from prison.
Part of VanDerbeck’s sentencing order stated that Shaffer could petition the court for early release after going through the DOC’s Reception Diagnostic Center. This Shaffer did.
On Aug. 11, VanDerbeck modified Shaffer’s sentence, ordering her to complete six months on the court’s home monitoring program followed by three years on probation.
In his order, VanDerbeck found that at the time of the offence, Shaffer had opened her home “and was being a Good Samaritan to a family member in a time of need when a tragic event occurred. There is nothing that can be done to bring back the life of the dependent child victim and there is little added value in penalizing Christy Shaffer or her family further by continuing the period of incarceration.”
Judge VanDerbeck also stated Shaffer has a large family and community that continue to offer support, structure and nourishment.
“She has also been a continuous provider of love and affection to her own biological family,” his order reads.
The judge’s order has proved controversial.
#5 Sep 15, 2011
‘I was just disgusted’
Tyler Sprunger was joined by around 20 supporters Friday. They walked around the courthouse, most bearing signs along the lines of “No justice for Baby Alissa” and “Shame on Judge VanDerbeck.” Gathered along Detroit Street, the group was occasionally met with honks from passing motorists.
Kristin Day of Howe was part of the protest Friday. She’d seen the “77 Days for Murder” Facebook page. She didn’t know the Sprunger family.
“Never met ’em,” she said.“But I couldn’t stand seeing a child go through that and then not have any justice.”
Tyler Sprunger said he learned of the sentence modification via the newspaper. It was on a Friday.
“My mom hands me the paper in the morning and I look at it and right there it was,‘Sentence reduced,’ with Christy Shaffer’s photo on the front,” he recalled.“I just threw the paper. I couldn’t even believe it. I was just disgusted...
“It’s not just whatsoever for a little girl to have to go out like that the way she did,” Sprunger said.
A man who answered the door at the Shaffer home Monday indicated the family had no comment for the media at the present time.
Shaffer is the target of a civil lawsuit filed by Kelli Sprunger and the estate of Alissa Guernsey. Other defendants include Shaffer’s husband Matthew, the Indiana Department of Child Services and the Steuben County Local Department of Child Services.
#6 Sep 18, 2011
Indiana news chan 21 was at the court house fri bringing more attention to this and giving baby Alyssa a louder voice! We will be there again next fri!
#7 Sep 24, 2011
This is such a sad situation! But since no one is really telling the truth about what happened everyone will continue to believe that she was murdered. Which is far from the truth. Seriously, think about it. No judge in there right mind would let this slide with the evidence that is being brought out to the public. There is so much more to the story and so many more details not being spoke about. I pray for all the readers that dont know all the details because it does appear to be a murder only hearing this side of the story! What is this world coming to?
#8 Sep 25, 2011
what it has come to isa dead and beaten baby with nobody being held accountable and the women who was to protect that baby spendign 77 days for her death because of a gutless judge
#9 Sep 25, 2011
would the judge have thought differenly if it had been one of his daughters?
#10 Sep 29, 2011
You are exactly right Scott I'm sure he would have thought a lot differently about it then!
#11 Sep 29, 2011
And to "truth will be spoken" she was the one responsible for Alyssa and I talked to Tyler Alyssa's uncle and he told me about interviews that the detectives did with the other children it would send chills down your spine knowing what they saw happen to her!
#12 Sep 15, 2012
it is murder plain and simple fat christy shaffer beat and killed a beautiful baby girl and went and ate macdonalds! she prob wanted to eat alissa too she is so fat and ugly!
#13 Sep 15, 2012
if i got ahold of her what i would do to her would make little alissas wounds look mild! and her fat ugly husband too what kind of aman is he? maybe he helped beat alissa too!
#14 Sep 15, 2012
she probably beats the other her own kids too but is affraid her parents would disown her if she killed their grandchildren!
#15 Oct 9, 2012
I'm soooooo sorry for ur lose I can't imagine loosing my child but as for this woman who hurt baby Alissa needs way more jail time than what she has done she needs to b in prison for life their is absolutely no excuse to put ur hands on a baby like that this woman deserves everything cumming to her
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