Child abuse couple sent to prison

CRYSTAL FALLS—In a case of child abuse that Iron County Judge C. Joseph Schwedler called “about as ugly a case as I’ve ever seen,” an Iron River man and his wife were sentenced to prison on Oct. 1 in Iron County Trial Court.
    Jessie James Winkler, 23, was given a sentence of 38 months to 10 years, while Jennifer Ann Marie Winkler, 26, was handed a sentence of 18 months to 10 years with the Department of Corrections.
    Jessie Winkler was charged with inflicting the injuries to the 44-day old baby girl, injuries that Prosecuting Attorney Melissa Powell said included approximately 20 fractures. He had previously pleaded no contest to the second-degree child abuse charge.
    Jennifer Winkler was charged with second-degree child abuse for failing to secure immediate medical treatment for the child’s injuries. She had also pleaded no contest to the charge.    
    The child has been placed in foster care and is undergoing continued treatment for her injuries.
    Before Jesse Winkler was sentenced, defense attorney Michael Scholke said he didn’t think his client is an “inherently evil person.”
    “This was a very, very serious incident and the injuries here were unimaginable to this young child,” Scholke said. “It was shocking, the severity of it… But I don’t think my client has an evil bone in his body. What he did was not done with malice, but for a lack of capacity.”
    Scholke said his client suffers from a “cognitive functional deficit” and has mental health issues including bipolar illness.
    “His functioning is low, and frankly, he lacked the capacity to be a parent.”

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