Wednesday, September 6th, 2017
Child killer gets 15 years to life in prison
Eischen beat ex-girlfriend's 4-year-old son
By Ed Gebert
CELINA - Cory William Eischen on Tuesday received the maximum penalty of 15 years to life in prison on charges stemming from the Sept. 25, 2016, death of 4-year-old Jaxxen Baker.
"I am truly appalled that a human being would be capable of such brutality," visiting judge Randall Basinger said at the sentencing in Mercer County Common Pleas Court.
Eischen, 40, of Washington Township had pleaded guilty Aug. 23 to an unspecified felony charge of murder, a second-degree felony child-endangering charge and one count of third-degree felony domestic violence. In a plea agreement, six charges - aggravated murder, murder, involuntary manslaughter, felonious assault and endangering children - were dropped.
Basinger on Tuesday pronounced a sentence of 15 years to life, with credit given for 345 days already served. By law, the sentence would allow Eischen to petition for parole after five years, but Basinger said he was recommending to the parole board that Eischen not be considered for parole at such an early opportunity.
At the sentencing, three separate story lines came into focus. First was the story of an innocent 4-year-old victim. Second was Eischen's violent history. Third was a case seemingly overlooked by those charged with protecting children.
Jaxxen's mother, Cassidy Spitzer, spoke of her horror upon finding that her son was dead at Eischen's hands. Calmly, but emotionally, she spoke of her loss and the horrors of that day.
"It didn't have to happen. Why and how could any person hurt an innocent 4-year-old child?" she asked.
Her suffering has not ended, she added.
"Months go by. People go back to their happy lives with their children, and they pretend like it didn't even happen," she said. "It doesn't end at the funeral for the mother. It never ends. It is a never-ending living nightmare that I will never wake up from."
She mentioned that the pain is sparked by special occasions and normal, everyday happenings.
"As most families got to watch their 5-year-old child get on the school bus for the first day of kindergarten, I had to spend mine at the cemetery," Spitzer related.
Jaxxon's grandfather, Marty Spitzer, described his grandson, who had vacationed with his family in 2015.
"Jaxxen was a precocious, loving, inquisitive, vibrant 4-year-old. He loved monster trucks, insects, butterflies, riding his bike and his family. In short, he was the typical and perfect all-American boy," he said.
Marty Spitzer noted that during that vacation, Jaxxen and his older brother seemed to be afraid of Eischen, their mother's then-boyfriend. He then pointed out that on the fatal day while Eischen was watching Jaxxen, a lot of support was available.
"There were support people nearby the house that day who could have been called to take a timeout," Marty Spitzer said. "No child should be killed for an unwillingness to eat their lunch."
On that day, Eischen was arrested after Mercer County Sheriff's deputies responded to calls concerning the welfare of a child at 5098 Rauh Road in Washington Township. A man had called the Mercer County Sheriff's Office, saying his wife had picked up a child at that residence, and another child at the home was unresponsive.
Baker reportedly was taken to Mercer County Community Hospital, Coldwater, with reported obvious, extensive injuries and was pronounced dead at the hospital.
On Tuesday, Mercer County Prosecuting Attorney Matthew Fox opted not to read a list of injuries found on Jaxxen's body.
However, the visiting judge of Putnam County said, "It can only be summarized as an incredibly significant and brutal beating of a defenseless child."
At the sentencing, Basinger told Eischen, "Domestic violence and violent behavior have been part of your life for a significant period of time."
The judge read a long list of past crimes from Eischen's record, including breaking and entering, assault and convictions for domestic violence in 1993, 2004 and attempted domestic violence in 2014.
"You were given the opportunities to deal with your aggressive, assaulting behaviors, which apparently failed to be successful," Basinger stated.
Basinger was also deeply concerned about an Oct. 5, 2016, incident involving Eischen and Jaxxen, in which Mercer County Child Protective Services was called.
According to Fox, that case was transferred to Montgomery County, since the boy's mother lived there at the time. No report from Montgomery County Child Protective Services could be located, leading Basinger to believe the case was never fully investigated.
"It appears to the court that a more complete investigation should have been done," he said.
Basinger said that while a more thorough investigation would not necessarily have prevented the child's death, "I think that fact should teach us all a lesson, those of us who are participating in this system. Events like this sometimes have appalling consequences."
Defense attorney Kirk McVay said he could offer no explanations.
"There is nothing I can say to explain what happened and why," he said.
Eischen himself offered no explanations when he spoke.
Eischen, in a dark suit with a blue dress shirt and no tie, sat at the defense table between attorneys McVay and Richard Chamberlain. When asked for a statement by Basinger, Eischen remained seated but turned his head toward where Cassidy Spitzer had been sitting with members of her family, and said while crying, "I'm so sorry. I didn't intend for this to happen."