The Justice Files: Family feels victimized again

Justice Files

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Utah) – Baby Carter’s family feels victimized again.

The infant was killed at the hands of his father in 2011. Jeremy Andus accepted a plea bargain and was sentenced to prison. Tuesday, Andus was paroled after serving half of his sentence.

“We do not believe justice was served for my nephew,” said Chelsea Suarez, the child’s aunt. “It’s really unfortunate that these children like my nephew really didn’t have a voice. His family, us, we’re his voice.”

In 2011, police and prosecutors claimed Andus beat the child. Charging documents stated the baby suffered “massive trauma” in his head as a result of “shaking, impact or (both). The injuries were “extremely violent,” the report said.

Baby Carter’s mother was at work and Andus took care of the infant.

Two years later, Andus accepted the plea bargain and pleaded guilty to manslaughter. He was sentenced from one-to-15-years in prison for the second-degree felony.

But under Utah law, it’s up to the Board of Pardons to decide if he’ll serve the full sentence.
In May, Andus became eligible for parole and appeared before a hearing officer.

“It’s just like a normal day at first you know,” he told the hearing officer. “And then I was there. It turned into a nightmare.”

Tuesday, Andus was paroled. Other than a drug charge while in prison, the board determined he qualified for release.

Baby Carter’s family felt his young life was meaningless to those in charge.

“We feel like it (Carter’s life) was taken as nothing,” said Suarez. “Jeremy gets to get out. He gets to live a full life, a lot longer than my nephew would have gotten to live.”

Andus is under orders not to approach Carter’s family including his mother and any children.

But Suarez said her sister, Carter’s mother, is victimized again by Andus’ release from prison. She still fears him and decided to move to a place only her family knows.

“I don’t think it’s fair that she has to uproot her life, move away from her whole entire family for fear of him,” said Suarez. “It’s not fair.”

The board of pardons has discretion how long an inmate will serve as long as it is within the guidelines set by the sentencing judge.

The board determined the drug possession charge was a one-time event for Andus. His sentence was to run concurrent to the manslaughter charge. In the end, they determined he was no longer a threat to society.
Obviously, Baby Carters family doesn’t believe that.

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