|Geurts surrenders to authorities|
|January 31, 2013 Jerry Purvis|
The case concerning the July 11, 2008 death of 2-year-old Juliette Geurts of Gering is back in Scotts Bluff County as the girl’s mother, Charyse Geurts, turned herself in to authorities.
The case has been investigated as a homicide after an autopsy revealed the girl had died of blunt force trauma.
Since that time, Monica Hall, Juliette’s aunt, has organized citizens of the county and filed a petition asking for a grand jury investigation. The petition was successful and District Judge Randall Lippstreu reviewed the evidence last fall. He then called for a grand jury, which finished its investigation earlier this month.
Indictments were handed down against Charyse Geurts and Dustin Chauncey, who were living in the house where Juliette was reported dead in her crib on July 11, 2008.
The grand jury indictment charged Charyse with being an accessory to a felony and providing false information to police. Chauncey was charged with child abuse resulting in death and involuntary manslaughter. However, he’s since been sentenced to four years in a Colorado prison regarding an unrelated case involving drug and firearms charges.
According to Scotts Bluff County Sheriff Mark Overman,
Charyse turned herself in on Jan. 24 and immediately posted $5000 cash bond. She was released from custody the same evening. She appeared for arraignment the next day. She has signed a waiver of extradition form, and the court gave her permission to return to her home in Wisconsin.
Her attorney, Bell Island, has filed a motion to quash, claiming there was a defect in the record of the complaint over whether a crime was committed.
Charyse continues to maintain her innocence in the death of her daughter and wants to help investigators determine who is responsible for Juliette’s death.
In a prepared statement, Island said “Charyse wants the person responsible for the death of Juliette prosecuted and punished. Not a day passes that she does not think about her daughter.”
Island said there wasn’t much else he could say, as it is an open case. “It’s always hard to say what the timeline will be,” he said. “This is a grand jury indictment so it’s different than what we’re used to in terms of how things will go forward. But we will be following up with motions to help prepare the case.”