ALISSA GUERNSEY – BRUTALLY TORTURED AND BEAT BY CHRISTY SHAFFAR – CCA0091 – UPDATED 04.14.2014
ALISSA GUERNSEY – BRUTALLY TORTURED AND BEAT BY HER AUNT, CHRISTY SHAFFAR
WARNING – This post contains autopsy photos of Alissa.
November 2, 2007, was the day this world was graced with baby Alissa Guernsey. For the short time we had her, she brought joy and love to so many. This beautiful little girl was a miracle to be treasured, and for most of her life, she was cherished. Sadly though, the final 110 days of her life, were anything but joyous or loving.
In November of 2008, Alissa’s father, Michael Guernsey, was killed in a tragic car accident.
Alissa’s mother, Kelli Sprunger, was devastated and racked with grief and severe depression. She began to have trouble providing for the children. In December of 2008, Child Protective Services removed Alissa and her two older brothers from the mother’s care. The children were then placed with Kelli’s cousin, Christy Shaffer. Shaffer already has 4 children, and she was not an approved foster parent, and yet Kelli’s children were still placed in her home. For 110 days, Shaffer tortured and beat Alissa until March 28, 2009, when Alissa left this world after her body could take no more abuse.
Almost immediately after being placed in Shaffer’s home, Alissa begun to have unexplained bruising and hair loss. In the 110 days that Alissa was in Shaffer’s care, she was taken to a doctor 15 times. This doctor reported suspected abuse.
Shaffer had begun to cancel visits between Alissa and Kelli, claiming that Alissa was sick, but allowed Kelli visits with her two sons. Kelli, who became concerned for her children’s well being, contacted CPS, yet CPS did nothing.
Kelli’s instincts were right, her baby girl was in grave danger.
Alissa was pushed if she was not moving fast enough, shoved over if she was in the way, pinched repeatedly, kicked, slapped, burnt with cigarettes, she would be grabbed by her hair and have her head smashed into any hard source nearby. Shaffer tried to blame the abuse and Alissa’s injuries on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and was born as a meth/crack baby, which she then stated caused Alissa’s ‘clumsiness’. This monster is not only cruel, but stupid to boot. Doctor and tox screen reports taken when Alissa was born showed that she was a normal, very healthy baby girl.
The fatal blow that killed Alissa was inflicted while Shaffer was driving to McDonalds with a car full of kids one afternoon. As Alissa sat in her car seat, Shaffer grab her by the hair and smashed the baby girl’s head into her car seat.
The beating continued until Alissa lost consciousness and lapsed into a coma. Alissa’s brothers were in the back seat and watched their aunt murder their baby sister. With Alissa’s now lifeless body strapped into her car seat, Shaffer continued about, renting a movie and ordering happy meals for the rest of the children. She then drove home and got the rest of the kids inside and eating. Finally Shaffer returned to the car to retrieve Alissa. She callously brought her niece’s dead body into the home and waited for hours before calling her brother, who is an EMT. The brother rushed to the home and found Alissa, already cold to the touch, not breathing and with no heartbeat. He then called 911 and began CPR. Emergency personal and a team of doctors tried for 45 minutes to revive Alissa, but it was far too late, Alissa had passed away hours before.
Alissa’s autopsy revealed all of the horrific injuries she suffered with in silence. Alissa’s cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head, but that is only where it began. Bruises and lacerations covered Alissa’s body and face, her hair had been ripped out. She suffered from multiple deep mouth lacerations gouged into open sores. Alissa also suffered broken elbow, and a growth plate displacement. Her internal injuries were excessive and brutal.
It’s hard to imagine how things could become any worse, any more devastating, but they did. Shaffer pled guilty to a single charge of neglect of a dependant and was sentenced to 10 years in prison with all but 4 years suspended and 6 years of probation. With good behaviour, Shaffer could be out in 2 years. This sentence did not even come close to justice, however this sentence was not carried out.
Instead, Shaffer spent 77 days in prison. 77 days in exchange for Alissa’s 110 days of torture and finally her murder. 77 days. It has been reported that Shaffer’s father, Kerry Sprunger, just happened to be friends with the judge, J.Scott VanDerbeck, that presided over Shaffer’s trial. It turns out that that is not the only personal relationship that seems to have clouded over justice for Alissa. Not only were the judge and Shaffer’s father friends, but they were also friends with the prosecutor, Jeff Wible, and the doctor, John Egli, who essentially watched Alissa die a slow painful death, never once doing anything to save her (Let’s not forget that as a doctor, he is also a MANDATORY REPORTER.”.
Judge VanDerbeck told Christy Shaffer at her sentencing, that she could come back in 60 – 90 days for a possible modification of her sentence. Shaffer did just that, and Judge VanDerbeck modified her sentence, releasing her after only 77 days, never giving a thought to the dead little girl that this was supposed to be about. Shaffer spent 6 months on home detention, and had 3 years probation. No one protected Alissa, but they are now protecting her murderer. It makes me sick, and I hope I live to see the day when all 4 of these men are behind bars for misconduct. What has this world come to where a situation like this is allowed to happen and ignored??
Alissa was a happy little girl, full of curiosity and joy. Christy Shaffer stole that innocence from Alissa. It only took Shaffer 110 days to change everything about who Alissa was. Alissa became scared and withdrawn. The girl that once smiled and played with everyone and anyone, was now living her life in fear, never understanding what she did to be hurt so badly. This baby girl was too little to speak out and ask for help. She was trapped in a world that was now filled with hate and evil.
Alissa’s body has been laid to rest by those that love her. However, this is only the beginning. Alissa’s story has only just begun. Her murderer is out walking free, no justice was ever served. We are now Alissa’s voice. We need to demand change, and we need to demand that those responsible for letting her murderer get off without so much as a slap to the wrist,
are held accountable and charged for the disgusting display of callous disregard for a 15 month old baby girl’s life.
If I could have my way, pictures of Alissa’s lifeless body covered in bruises and sores would cover the walls of their homes like wallpaper, so that every single day, every where they looked, Alissa will be there, reminding them of what they let a murderer get away with, simply because they played golf with the murderer’s father.
Christy Schaffer has once again found herself in a court room, this time though she is answering to drug charges, not the murder of Alissa Guernsey. Schaffer was arrested in early November on two drug related charges after she was discovered to be in the possession of methamphetamine, a direct violation of the probation she is serving for murdering Alissa. However the madness does not stop there. It turns out that Shaffer allegedly allowed methamphetamine to be cooked in her garage. When Schaffer was urine tested, they found traces of meth in her system, which can lead to her probation being revoked.
When Schaffer appeared in court for an initial hearing, she told the judge that she needed a public defender. The public defender who was assigned to Schaffer’s case, actually went before a judge and made a request to be removed from the case citing a conflict of interest. A new public defender will be issued before her next hearing on December 20, 2013. Schaffer will be held on a $15,000 total cash bond for both charges.
I suppose I should be ecstatic that Schaffer is back in jail, but to be perfectly honest, it only makes me feel like we failed Alissa that much more. Schaffer will face more jail time for her drug charges than she did for murdering Alissa, and how can I call that justice? Yes, I am happy to see her in cuffs, but unfortunately I am not happy to see that is has no relation to Alissa’s horrific death. I want Schaffer to have to face what she did to Alissa, and to be held accountable for the murder of a beautiful baby girl. I’ll take the drug charges and hope she is sentenced to the maximum term, after all it is something. However I will never say that this is justice for Alissa – because it is not. Which means my family, that our job here is not done. We have still not seen justice done for a tiny little girl with a big bright smile, and we need to stay the course. We need to keep our lights blazing, and our voices strong and loud – we need to continue our fight for Alissa, we need to continue to seek true justice for this little girl.
Christy Schaffer’s bond has been revoked. Judge Wallace terminated Schaffer’s probation a few days ago and has sent her back to prison to serve her full sentence, but it seems like a hollow win. Schaffer is charged with two class D felonies, possession of methamphetamine and maintaining a common nuisance. That common nuisance just happened to be a meth lab in full swing in her garage run by two men who were also arrested on drug charges. So here’s the thing that made my head explode into a million pieces – when Schaffer was arrested, her children were removed from her home. HOW THE HELL DID SHE STILL HAVE ANY CHILD IN HER CARE AFTER MURDERING ALISSA??????????
I can’t help but continuing to go back to the joke of a judge, VanDerbeck. Do you know that when he was sentencing Schaffer, he actually chastised Kelli Sprunger blaming her in part for Alissa’s death??!! The arrogance is sickening. Don’t get me wrong, did Kelli make some poor choices … absolutely, but to blame her for her daughter’s murder, it’s unacceptable. This family was wracked with a tragedy most will never understand, and Kelli did the best she could while fighting severe depression and grief, she trusted Schaffer to love her children while she got the help she needed to get her children back, not dumped them on her to beat and abuse at will. Albeit Sprunger does have a history of drug abuse that started before Alissa was born. After Alissa’s father died, Kelli spiraled back down into drug addiction which was the cause for the children being placed with Schaffer.
I can’t feel anything but disdain for Schaffer, there is no excuse, EVER, for hurting a child. To do what Schaffer did to Alissa requires no humanity or conscience. Kelli still has lawsuits pending against Schaffer, her husband and the doctor that failed to report Alissa’s abuse.
VanDerbeck then went on to speak of how highly he thought of Schaffer’s father before handing this monster a get out of jail free card. When all of this became public, VanDerbeck was no longer able to hide the slimy piece of crap that he is and he recused himself, but you can bet he made himself look like an ass one more time with his comments. In the order announcing his recusal he stated:
“In this case an inflamed atmosphere has been created by people unconnected to this case. When a judge, in a community plagued with methamphetamine use, attempts to resolve a dispute involving drug use, family problems, the tragic death of an infant, and conflicting accounts of who is to blame — the rule of law provides guidance for justice. When an enflamed atmosphere follows, based on a fictional account of circumstantial evidence, that places unsupported blame on the innocent, and the judge, not the facts that were presented at hearing, becomes the central focus, it is a sad day for justice in America.”
VanDerbeck the coward, cited “possible intimidating behaviour by members of the public” as a reason for recusing himself. All of those letters calling for action against VanDerbeck and the reopening of the case, and peaceful protest sure can intimidate a person hunh? We know the truth though, he is scared that everyone sees him for what he is now, that he has no more power to misuse and feed his grandiose self worth and narcissistic behavior.
VanDerbeck appointed DeKalb Superior Court Judge Kevin P. Wallace as special judge. So here’s the thing, I want to scream having to say this, but Schaffer is protected under the double jeopardy laws meaning she cannot face any more charges regarding Alissa’s murder. HOWEVER – what Judge Wallace CAN do is review the role VanDerbeck played in the case and sentencing, including his decision to modify Schaffer’s prison time.
We also can’t forget Jeff Wible, the prosecutor that failed miserably at obtaining ANY justice for Alissa. A reporter from Fox55 News who wanted to cover Alissa’s case, contacted Wible who stated he will NOT reopen the case ‘because no one in Indiana cares about it.’ Wible claimed that he never made the comment and was simply playing ‘phone tag’ with the reporter. And yet Wible has made statements to the effect that no one in Indiana cares previously. He actually told a reporter for the Tribune, that of the letters he received regarding Alissa’s case, none came from Indiana.
I have to ask myself, what kind of person would even make that statement? How can he trivialize Alissa’s death by insinuating that no one in Indiana cares, and that because of that, this should just be swept under the rug and forgotten? Why would he even make a statement like that, and how is it relevant to the truth and justice? Alissa was murdered, do those that are fighting to get her justice, to do right by her, have to live in Indiana to be heard?
Now, while I will not ignore Wible’s actions during Schaffer’s trial, he did step up to the plate during Schaffer’s hearing resulting in her bond revocation, countering statements made by Schaffer’s attorney. He objected to Schaffer’s attorney’s comment that Schaffer was using drugs to cope with depression and anxiety. When Schaffer’s attorney made comments about Alissa, stating that she suffered significant injury to her body, Wible spoke for Alissa saying “her injuries were not significant, they were catastrophic!” I’m sceptical of Wible, but he may redeem himself … only time will tell.
Alright, let’s end this update with a ray of light shining through. Alissa is gone, we can’t change that, but we can fight for her, remember her, honor her and love her, even when no one in her family will. For you familiar with the case, you have all heard of Alissa’s Army, a group started on Facebook by folks just like us that were outraged at what happened to Alissa and how her murderer was treated. Alissa’s Army is not related to Alissa in any way, but they have still become her family. Celebrating her birthday by visiting her grave, bringing balloons, flowers and stuffed animals to cover Alissa’s final resting place. They also celebrated Alissa’s birthday at the LaGrange County Courthouse. There too balloons, flowers and stuffed animals lined the walk, with signs demanding Justice for Alissa. Cupcakes were shared and Alissa’s memory was honored in a beautiful way, and I would personally like to thank the members of Alissa’s Army for all they have done for Alissa and in Alissa’s name. You my friends, are the true heroes the world needs, you are changing lives, you are an army that would make anyone proud to stand behind you.