Amanda Nethercutt, 27, of Plymouth, was sentenced today (September 7, 2016) in Marshall Superior Court No. 1 to Aggravated Battery stemming from an incident that occurred in August of 2015. The State of Indiana and Nethercutt entered into an agreement whereby she accepted responsibility for battering her child and the State of Indiana would dismiss the charge of attempted murder and other less serious allegations. The terms of the plea agreement call for a 15 year sentence, 13 years to be served in the Indiana Department of Correction followed by 2 years of reporting probation. Judge Robert O. Bowen ordered a pre-sentence investigation report and scheduled a sentencing hearing for September 7, 2016. Bowen accepted Nethercutt’s plea of guilty but mentally ill, and sentenced Nethercutt to 15 years imprisonment at the Indiana Department of Corrections, with two years suspended to reporting probation.
The incident that led to the charges occurred on August 13, 2015 at Nethercutt’s mother’s apartment in Plymouth. The crime was perpetrated on Nethercutt’s daughter and mother. Plymouth Police Officer Matt Emenhiser was dispatched by Central Dispatch after a 911 call. Upon his arrival he saw injuries on Nethercutt’s mother and daughter and was told Nethercutt attempted to drown the six year old in the bath tub. Nethercutt was found at a nearby apartment, wielding a knife. Officer Emenhiser used a Taser to subdue and then handcuff Nethercutt. Prosecuting Attorney Nelson Chipman commended Officer Emenhiser for his professional restraint in a clearly dangerous situation.
Chipman further stated, “With all criminal cases handled by my office, justice demands the investigation does not end with the filing of the charge. That is particularly true in this case.”
During the pendency of the case, additional information was cultivated making it abundantly clear that Nethercutt has a documented history of mental illness. Nethercutt’s mother requested the resolution of the matter should consider that mental illness was a factor in the crime. Several members of Nethercutt’s family wrote letters to Judge Bowen asking for leniency, and expressed hope she would receive mental health services while in prison. Consideration of the facts and the evidence in the case as well as consultation with Detective Jim Cox of the Plymouth Police Department led to an agreement satisfactory to the parties.
Nethercutt admitted to battering her daughter at her mother’s house. After the Plymouth Police Department responded to the scene, Nethercutt was taken to a mental health facility for nearly a week before being charged with the offenses. Defense counsel for Nethercutt was Tom Black.
Chief Deputy Prosecutor Tami Napier stated that the resolution of the case spared Nethercutt’s daughter the trauma of testifying against her mother. Equally important is that the child is now in a safe environment.
Chipman emphasized that Nethercutt’s mental illness and protecting the child from further emotional trauma, carried considerable weight in deciding what was a fair and just result. He pointed out that under the new criminal code that took effect in 2014, a person sentenced for a major felony must serve 75% of the executed sentence, instead of the day for day good time credit previously utilized. “We encourage both the Department of Correction and Ms. Nethercutt to receive the mental health therapy she clearly needs while incarcerated.”