SAGINAW, MI — A Carrollton Township mother has received jail credit and probation for her role in her toddler son’s death at her boyfriend’s hands.
Megan N. Schweinsberg, 29, on Tuesday, Sept. 15, appeared via Zoom before Saginaw County Circuit Judge Janet M. Boes for sentencing
Schweinsberg in July pleaded guilty to second-degree child abuse in the presence of another child in exchange for the prosecution’s dismissal of felony murder and first-degree child abuse charges. The charges stemmed from the July 10, 2019, death of Schweinsberg’s 22-month-old son, Darryn J. Mann.
Schweinsberg’s ex-boyfriend, Brandon A. Mannie, in June pleaded no contest to one count of second-degree murder stemming from the child’s death.
Boes sentenced Schweinsberg to one year in jail with credit for 328 days already served. With good time factored in, Schweinsberg’s jail credit already exceeds the one-year sentence, the judge said.
Boes also sentenced Schweinsberg to five years of probation and ordered her to pay $258 in court fines and costs.
“Miss Schweinsberg is guilty of the offense that she has pled to because of her omissions as a parent in allowing Mr. Mannie access to her children, not because of inflicting physical abuse on her own,” defense attorney Jeffrey J. Rupp told the judge.
Saginaw County Assistant Prosecutor Melissa J. Hoover agreed there was no evidence Schweinsberg directly harmed Darryn or her two older sons, but there is that she was present while Mannie abused them.
“I think it’s no overstatement to describe what happened as a tragedy,” Rupp said. “It’s something that Miss Schweinsberg is going to have to live with for the rest of her life, knowing that she lost a child and even worse, that she contributed to the loss of that child. It’s not something she’s taken lightly. I think there’s nary a time when I’ve spoken with her and we touch on the facts of the case that she doesn’t break down in tears or is at least on the verge of crying.”
Rupp said Schweinsberg has surrendered her parental rights to her other two children, and their own adoption processes are nearly complete.
“I just want to apologize to the courts and to my family and most of all my children,” Schweinsberg said, beginning to cry, “for the pain that they had to suffer and what they’re going to have to go through the rest of their life. I take full responsibility for everything that happened, and I’m sorry.”
Hoover said to describe Darryn’s death as a tragedy is an understatement.
“There is no question that Mr. Mannie was the primary perpetrator here and that his actions ultimately caused the death of 1-and-a-half-year-old Darryn Mann,” Hoover said. “However, it is my position that this death could have been prevented had Miss Schweinsberg used better judgment in who she allowed to be around her children and had she not failed in her duty to protect her children from Mr. Mannie.”
Hoover said there evidence all three children endured considerable abuse, and that Mannie abused Schweinsberg as well.
Schweinsberg “was aware that this was going on in her home and that her children were at risk any time they were around Mr. Mannie and she did nothing about it,” Hoover said.
Still, Schweinsberg cooperated with investigators, was going to testify against Mannie, and is cooperating in another case, Hoover said. She said she believed Schweinsberg could be rehabilitated and could learn to make better choices.
“For the next five years, Miss Schweinsberg would essentially be holding the key to her own prison cell,” Hoover continued. “It will be up to her whether she can continue on the straight and narrow and make better choices. If not, she certainly knows what the consequences might be under the circumstances.”
No family representative addressed the judge on Darryn’s behalf.
Circuit Judge Manvel Trice III on Aug. 28 sentenced Mannie, 26, to 46.8 to 75 years in prison, with credit for 415 days already served.
Hoover previously said Mannie on July 10, 2019, placed Darryn in scalding water while Schweinsberg wasn’t present at her home in the 2800 block of North Michigan Avenue in Carrollton Township. Darryn needed immediate medical attention for his wounds, but Mannie hit him in his head and tried to conceal what he’d done by clothing the crying toddler, covering him in a blanket, and placing him between his legs as Mannie watched TV, Hoover has said. When Darryn tried moving or cried, Mannie continued hitting him, Hoover has said.
When Schweinsberg arrived home, she tried taking Darryn from Mannie to get him help, only for Mannie to brandish a knife and threaten to kill her and her kids, Hoover has said.
Autopsy results indicated Darryn died of a combination of burns, asphyxia, and blunt force head trauma.
At Mannie’s sentencing, Hoover said his conduct was “nothing less than callous, reprehensible and downright monstrous.”
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