Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

March 1, 2013

Abuse trial continued

Second trial for Jeffery Dice moved to June 4

By Mike Fletcher
Tribune crime reporter

— A second jury trial for a man accused of scalding a small child set for this month was pushed back to June at the request of the prosecutor.

A pretrial hearing for Jeffery Dice II, 22, set for Friday in Howard Superior Court 4 was also continued. It has been reset to May 10, court records showed.

Dice is now set to stand trial June 4.

A mistrial was declared in first trial in October after jurors failed to come up with a verdict after deliberating nearly eight hours.

Dice has been free on bail since his July 2011 arrest.

Dice faces Class B felony charges of neglect of a dependent resulting in serious bodily injury and battery resulting in serious bodily injury to a person less than 14 years of age.

The charges accuse Dice of immersing his 19-month-old stepdaughter’s left foot and left hand in scalding water on May 5, 2011, at a house on Mendota Court. According to a probable cause affidavit, Dice said he was boiling water to make noodles when the water splashed him, causing him to knock the pan off the stove. The water then splashed the girl, who was standing nearby, Dice told detectives of the Howard County Sheriff Department.

Dice then said he took the child to Community Howard Regional Health. She was then transferred to Riley Hospital in Indianapolis due to the severity of the burns.

Personnel at both hospitals disputed Dice’s claims and said the injuries were not consistent with the story offered, according to court records.

If convicted, Dice could face up to 20 years in prison on each charge.

Mike Fletcher, Tribune crime reporter may be reached at 765-454-8565, or via e-mail at mike.fletcher@kokomotribune.com.

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