The Justice Files: An apology but too late

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SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Utah) – Despite medical evidence that revealed a history of injuries to a baby, his father claimed it was a single episode.

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Jeremy Andus is serving up to 15-years in prison for killing his son in 2011.  Andus appeared before the Utah Board of pardons this week.  After eight years in prison, he is eligible for parole.

In 2011, a man found Andus in the back seat of his car holding his four-month-old son. Andus was crying and baby Carter was “white and totally limp” according to a police report.

The baby was rushed to the hospital where doctors learned Carter was not breathing and had no heartbeat.

He was placed on life support but eventually died of a severe head injury.  His autopsy later revealed a history of abuse.

Andus was charged with murder and child abuse.  He pleaded guilty to manslaughter in 2013.

Tuesday, Andus talked about his crime before a hearing officer with the Board of Pardons.

“It’s like a normal day at first you know and then I was there,” Andus said.  “It turned into a nightmare man.”

Andus said each day he replays the moment he hurt his child.  But he wouldn’t go into detail as to how it happened. He denied ever being angry with carter before and had no knowledge of previous head injuries to his son.

“I don’t know how that happened,” he said.

The virtual parole hearing drew many family members.  One in particular was Carter’s mother.  Whitney Palmer was adamant that Andus remain in prison.

“It has only been ten years,” Palmer said.  I believe he should have to serve the full sentence and no less. Fifteen years in prison can’t compare to the reality I have to live.”

Andus is also serving time for having a dangerous weapon while in jail in Sanpete County.  That sentence is running concurrently with the manslaughter conviction.

The hearing officer asked Andus if he could speak to his son would what he say to him.  Andus held back tears and remained silent for several seconds.  Then he answered with a trembling voice.

“I would say that I am sorry to him,” said Andus.

The Board of Pardons will review his testimony before deciding if he should be paroled or remain in prison.

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