LIMA — A Lima woman who acknowledged her “failure as a mother” on Thursday escaped prison time for charges related to the death of her infant son on Easter Sunday 2018.
But Judge Jeffrey Reed made it abundantly clear that Shelly Wireman will wind up behind bars for up to six years if she violates community control sanctions during her next four years on probation.
“If your parole officer says jump, I want you to say ‘how high?’” the judge said.
Wireman, 27, was charged nearly two years ago with involuntary manslaughter in the death of her 18-month-old son, Jaxxon Sullivan. In February she accepted a deal from prosecutors and pleaded guilty to two counts of child endangering, third-degree felonies, for her role in the infant’s death.
A jury in March of last year found Wireman’s live-in boyfriend, Gabriel Salyers, guilty of murdering Sullivan at a Lima home on Easter Sunday of 2018. Salyers was sentenced to a prison term of 31 years to life by Reed, who said of the case, “They don’t get any worse than this.”
Prior to sentencing on Thursday, Wireman addressed the court.
“I take accountability for theses charges,” the woman told Reed, admitting that she never should have allowed Salyers into her life or around her children. “No amount of (prison) time can be worse than the pain I feel every single day. I want to change my lifestyle for my children and to honor Jaxxon.”
She also admitted a history of drug abuse.
Wireman lost custody of two other children as a result of the charges against her.
Reed ordered Wireman to undergo mental health and drug evaluations, with a possible referral to drug or mental health courts to follow. She was given credit for 627 days already served in custody.
Allen County Prosecuting Attorney Juergen Waldick said in March that while Salyers inflicted the blows that directly caused the infant’s death, Wireman was not without a portion of blame in the events that led up to the child’s death and needed to be held accountable.
“We also wanted to make sure she never regained custody of her other children,” Waldick said.
Jaxxon Sullivan was rushed to a Lima hospital from a home on Oak Street in Lima on Easter of 2018 after being found limp and seemingly lifeless by first responders. The child suffered extensive head injuries and died two days later when taken off life support in a Toledo hospital.
Two medical experts testified during Salyers’ trial that the young boy died almost immediately after suffering violent blows to the head on that Sunday morning.