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Winklers enter plea in child abuse case

CRYSTAL FALLS—An Iron River couple charged with second degree child abuse after an incident in November 2017 both accepted plea agreements in Iron County Trial Court on July 23.
    Jesse James Winkler, 23, and Jennifer Ann Marie Winkler, 26, both pleaded no contest to the charge, which is a 10-year felony. Jesse Winkler was charged with causing serious physical harm to the 1½ month-old child, while Jennifer Winkler was charged with knowingly or intentionally committing an act that was cruel to the child by failing to secure immediate medical treatment for the child’s injuries.
    Iron County Judge C. Joseph Schwedler read from a stipulated set of facts in both hearings. Concerning the case against Jesse Winkler, the stipulated facts stated that on Nov. 27, 2017, Jesse Winkler broke the baby’s arm by pulling her from a bassinet by one arm.
    “After breaking Baby Winkler’s arm, the baby was inconsolable and in a fetal position,” Schwedler read. “Mr. Winkler then broke both of Baby Winkler’s legs by forcing and straightening them in an effort to change the baby’s diaper.”
    Schwedler then read that neither Jessie Winkler nor Jennifer Winkler took the baby for immediate medical care despite the baby’s “acute distress.” The report stated that the baby was not taken to the hospital until approximately 2 p.m. the next day and only after a home health care worker discovered the arm injury during a visit at the Winklers’ home.
    In the case against Jennifer Winkler, the report stated that she observed Jessie Winkler pull the child out of the bassinet by the arm and then witnessed him using “extreme force” to hold the baby down to change its diaper, resulting in the child’s broken legs.
    Schwedler said the court found the elements of second-degree child abuse in both cases. The sentencings are scheduled for Sept. 4 at 10:30 a.m.