Niemerg Sentenced to Five Years in Prison

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Published on June 8 2013 2:09 am
Written by Greg Sapp

Local resident Kelci Niemerg has been sentenced to five years in prison for injuries caused to an infant two years ago.

Niemerg earlier pleaded guilty to a count of aggravated battery for injuries received by an infant in her care, Nathan Dill, in May of 2011. The child received significant injuries and is yet to recover from most of those injuries.  The count to which Niemerg pleaded guilty charges that Nathan suffered great bodily harm when the then seven-month-old son of Donnie and Laura Dill was thrown into a playpen and struck his head on an elliptical next to the playpen.

Niemerg was working as an in-home day care provider for the Dills.  Laura Dill left her son with Niemerg the morning of May 4, 2011 and went to work.  She later got a call from Niemerg that Nathan was not responding properly.  The child was taken to St. Anthony's Memorial Hospital in Effingham and was then airlifted to Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital in St. Louis for treatment.  The evaluation indicated Nathan had suffered significant head injuries including massive trauma throughout the brain as well as retinal trauma.

The child’s mother, Laura Dill, shared a victim’s impact statement on behalf of her son during a day-long sentencing hearing Friday. She talked of the injuries, but also of the things that her son will never get to experience and the constant work of caregiving.

Members of Kelci Niemerg’s family also testified as to her level of care for others and that they couldn’t imagine such an incident occurring again.

Laura Dill, though, said the incident has damaged the remainder of her family, too, including a loss of trust in all but a handful of others.

State's Attorney Bryan Kibler offered three witnesses as well as Niemerg's statement to police following the incident.  Kibler also showed a video he called "A Day in the Life of Nathan Dill" focusing on the ongoing battles faced by the child and his family.

17 witnesses testified on Niemerg's behalf, including Niemerg.

The defense asked for probation for Niemerg perhaps combined with some jail time.  Kibler asked for the maximum 10-year prison term possible.

In imposing the prison term, Judge Kimberly Koester also ordered Niemerg pay the Dills immediate out-of-pocket expenses of $28,202.49 and to register with the State as an offender.

Ironically, Niemerg is pregnant with her third child.  Judge Koester allowed Niemerg to have until June 20 to report to begin her sentence.