Last week, a mother from Alabama who was charged with the death of her special needs daughter at Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola was sentenced to one year in prison. The 36-year-old woman’s case had made headlines earlier this year when she was arrested for the tragic incident.
According to reports, Jessica Bortle is set to stand trial for the alleged killing of her 14-year-old daughter, Jasmine Singletary, in a Pensacola hospital in 2021. As per the prosecution’s claim, Bortle had hit her bedridden daughter with a hospital table, causing severe damage to her liver. The prosecutors argued that Bortle had lost her temper and acted out of anger, but Bortle maintains that it was a tragic accident. The incident was described as “obliterating” by the sources.
In July 2023, Jessica Bortle faced a two-day trial in Escambia County. The state sought severe charges against her, but the jury opted for less severe charges. Despite being charged with manslaughter and aggravated child abuse, Bortle was convicted of a lesser included offense of misdemeanor battery and child abuse. The jury found her guilty of a third-degree felony instead of a first-degree felony for the latter charge. As reported by PNJ, she was acquitted of manslaughter.
Bortle Found Not Guilty of Manslaughter:
According to court records, she has been sentenced to a year and one day in a Florida jail, along with three years of probation. It has also been revealed that she had already spent 212 days in the Escambia County Jail, which means her prison sentence has been reduced to 154 days.
According to court records, Bortle is required to attend parenting classes as a part of their legal obligations.
Jessica Bortle’s Mother Eyewitnesses Incident at Sacred Heart
According to Bortle’s mother, Rose Mathis, she was occupied with playing games on her phone throughout the night and did not notice or hear anything unusual. However, Bortle’s arrest report suggests otherwise. Investigators stated that Mathis testified to seeing Bortle use the table to strike Jasmine after the child threw her crayons around the room.
According to an arrest report, shortly after Bortle’s emotional outburst, the grandmother reported hearing Singletary call out to her with the endearing term, “Grandma.” Shortly after, her eyes rolled back, and Singletary lost consciousness, ultimately ceasing to breathe.
During the trial, it was revealed that the first arrest report had mentioned Jasmine’s hospital admission due to a “suspicious” head injury. However, further testimony proved that the injury was actually caused by a fall related to her preexisting medical condition.
Jessica Bortle Insists the Incident Was an Accident
During the investigation, Bortle claimed that she didn’t intend to harm her daughter when she pushed the table towards her. This happened after Jasmine had asked her if they could color together. Despite the incident, Bortle maintained that she did not believe that she caused any injury to her daughter.
During the trial, Bortle’s lawyer Marci McCoy informed the jury that when the catastrophic injury occurred, according to the state’s claims that it was caused by a table shove, Jasmine exclaimed, “Ow, that hurts.” McCoy argued that this response was not rational, and urged the jury to consider this point.
McCoy recounted how Jessica expressed her desire to color again, despite her injuries. He emphasized that the pain she endured must have been excruciating, as it would be unthinkable to engage in an activity like coloring if you were in that much discomfort. “And then she wanted to color, and so Jessica colored with her again,” McCoy added, highlighting the little girl’s bravery and determination.
The Pensacola News Journal reported that a mother who caused severe damage to her child’s liver while at a hospital in Pensacola has been sentenced to one year in prison.
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