PAGE UPDATED BY MARIA SIEVERDING AUGUST 25, 2015 at 11 A.M.
Batesville woman charged; bail set at $1.5 million
3-year-old boy dies from abuse
A Batesville woman is in jail after being charged with the death of her boyfriend’s 3-year-old son. Jennifer Schooler, 33, formerly of Kentucky, was formally charged August 20 with three felonies following the death of Bradyn Chadwell.
Pictured left is Jennifer Schooler of Batesville.
Schooler initially claimed the child was hurt Wednesday, August 12 from falling on a table, but in subsequent police interviews, she admitted in the affidavit she hit him with a wooden spoon and pushed him, which is when he hit his head on a coffee table. She could tell he was injured, but she did not call 911 until two days later when he stopped breathing.
The formal charges filed by the prosecutor are: Aggravated Battery Resulting in Death, Level 1 felony, Battery Resulting in Death, Level 2 felony, and Neglect of a Dependent Causing Death, Level 1 felony. Superior Court Judge Jeff Sharp found probable cause from an affidavit prepared by Batesville City Police August 18. She was at a hearing in Ripley Co. Circuit Court Monday and Judge Ryan King set bail at $1.5 million, which means she must pay $150,000 in cash. He cited the gravity of the offense for the high bail.
Schooler is the live-in girlfriend of Braydn Chadwell’s father, Thomas Chadwell. The child’s biological mother is Amanda Chadwell and she is currently in Kentucky. The child came to live with his father two months ago. Batesville Police Chief Stan Holt said the investigation began on August 12 following a 911 call at 1:34 p.m. from Schooler from an apartment on Boehringer Street in Batesville. The child was initially revived at the scene by EMS and taken to Margaret Mary Health, and later flown to University of Cincinnati Hospital, where he later passed away on August 14.
Conflicting accounts were given by Schooler to the 911 operator. Chief Holt interviewed Schooler on August 17, and according to the affidavit, Schooler admitted to spanking Bradyn with a wooden spoon while holding onto Bradyn’s arm. Schooler told police that she then pushed or shoved him into a coffee table, hitting his head. Schooler told the chief she could tell that Bradyn was injured. Bradyn’s father was not home at the time; however, earlier while being interviewed by police, the affidavit stated Schooler said she called police on Aug. 12 after he tripped over the pet cat and fell on the corner of the aquarium tank. She said the child’s father was at work, and 30 minutes later Bradyn fell over and was unresponsive. She then called Chadwell who advised her to call 911, which she did Aug. 12. Cincinnati Children’s Hospital noted that Bradyn had multiple bruises to the head, leg, buttocks and arm, retinal hemorrhages, a subdural hematoma, rib fracture, a fracture to a finger and fracture of his thumb. Bradyn’s head injury proved fatal and he was taken off life support. Cincinnati Children’s Hospital diagnosed Bradyn with non-accidental trauma.
Chief Holt said the case is “sad.” He told Ripley Publishing never in his police career as he experienced anything like this. While he’s had child abuse investigations, none have resulted in death. “Most of our police officers have children themselves; so, it’s a hard case to be involved in,” Holt commented.
Several TV station crews descended upon Batesville Thursday in light of this new criminal case.
Schooler was arrested August 17 and is currently in the Ripley County Jail. A Level 1 felony carries 20-40 years and a Level 2 felony carries 10-30 years. Her sister was in court and said afterward she would try to come up with the amount. Schooler is indigent and John Watson was appointed as her attorney. Both parents of the child were also in court. She was also told she may not have any contact with Thomas Chadwell. The pre-trial conference was set for October 5 and a jury trial December 14. Schooler did not have a criminal history and was emotional several times during the Monday hearing. The press release from the Batesville police and prosecutor’s office noted, “At this time, Schooler has only been charged with these crimes, and they should only be considered accusations,” Holt said.
Two motives given for Ohio County woman on trial for murder
The trial for the Rising Sun woman accused of murdering her ex-husband, where she shot him several times and then put his body in a metal box started Thursday in Ohio County and continues this week.
Two different reasons were presented as to why Danielle Green fatally shot her ex-husband, Raymond Green. Did she shoot him on May 26, 2014 because she was planning to leave him for another man? Or was it to defend herself? The prosecutor presented the first scenario and her defense attorney the second case. As reported in Register Publications and WSCH radio, Dearborn-Ohio County Prosecutor Aaron Negangard said, “It is not about motive. All we have to prove is that the defendant killed Raymond Green.” The 42-year-old woman is facing the possibility of life in prison if she is convicted in the murder of her 63-year-old ex-husband.
Raymond Green’s body was found in a metal box on the property, and Danielle Green initially told police he was killed by a dog. As revealed in court, the couple met after Green’s wife died in a bridge accident in 2002. He collected $750,000 in a wrongful death suit. They moved to Ohio County when her parents became ill. Raymond remained in Florida on a landscaping job in 2013 but moved to Ohio County later and became a truck driver in 2014. The two agreed to divorce but remain together so he could collect an additional $1000 on his social security payments from his first wife’s death. Meanwhile, the prosecutor states that Danielle was in touch with another member of the Cowboy Action Shooting Club after coming back to Indiana in 2012. They corresponded almost daily up until the murder. By May of 2014, Danielle Green’s parents had each died of cancer. She received an inheritance of approximately $300,000. The prosecutor said that detectives would later find that Danielle had done Internet searches for effects of taking a bullet to a person’s head.
Del Weldon, the lead attorney on Danielle Green’s defense team, painted a similar picture of the couple’s beginnings in Texas and Florida; however, he revealed a darker side to the murder victim. He related that Raymond had become “violent, controlling, and dangerous” after they moved to Florida. After the move to Indiana with Danielle, her attorney said Raymond grew increasingly unhappy and was still abusing Danielle. She had told him he would have to leave. On the morning of May 26, he awakes and attacks her, but she kills him to save her life, according to the defense.
Weldon said Danielle had grown fearful of her ex-husband after finding out that he was trying to take out an insurance policy on her behind her back. He learned he would not get any of her inheritance since they had divorced. Weldon said her false story, which she reported initially, about a dog killing him by biting his throat is obvious that it was not a planned murder. Again, he said she acted in self-defense. But, Negangard claims that Green’s lies were actions to cover up the murder. An autopsy determined that he died of 10 gunshots. Weldon said that ISP investigators did not properly investigate Danielle Green’s claims of abuse and suspicions raised by the insurance policy before she was charged with murder, six days after the body was found by police.