Obermiller faces lengthy prison term despite being found innocent of child killing
April 17, 2018 Updated Tue., April 17, 2018 at 8:28 p.m.
Having been acquitted last year for the beating death of a 2-year-old girl, Jason J. Obermiller still faces several years in prison before the convicted felon can call himself a free man.
Obermiller, 34, pleaded guilty Tuesday to both conspiring and distributing more than 50 grams of a “mixture or substance” that contained methamphetamine. Each felony carries a minimum of five years in federal prison.
Obermiller has a third drug charge pending. Federal prosecutors must decide by Wednesday whether to dismiss that charge or pursue a trial that will begin on Monday before U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Rice.
The charges on Tuesday were directly related to the drugs that Obermiller obtained with Lovina D. Rainey and sold six days before Rainey’s 2-year-old daughter, Adalynn Hoyt, was found beaten to death in the early morning hours of Sept. 12, 2016.
After the dead child was discovered at 3320 E. 55th Ave., which is just south of Spokane city limits, Obermiller turned off his phone and fled to Idaho, where he was hiding out in a cabin on Lake Coeur d’Alene until he was discovered and arrested on Sept. 20, 2016, on a charge of second-degree murder.
The case went to trial in June, when Obermiller said he was innocent. The case also included autopsy evidence that seemed to conflict with the time of death presented by investigators.
Deputy Spokane County prosecutors Gayle Ervin and Jennifer Zappone also did not tell defense attorneys until minutes before they called their last witness that an 11-year-old witness had told investigators she heard Adalynn crying sometime around 3 a.m., which would have been after Obermiller had left the house.
The jury deliberated for a day before finding Obermiller not guilty of killing Adalynn. But Obermiller remained in custody on a list of unrelated charges.
Obermiller, who has previous convictions for assault and domestic violence, was sentenced to 33 months in jail in July after pleading guilty to three counts of second-degree burglary and possession of drugs.
Obermiller had about six months left to serve on that sentence as he entered court Tuesday to plead guilty to the federal drug charges.
Vieth said he will ask Judge Rice to sentence his client to the mandatory minimum of five years in prison and ask that the two sentences run concurrently, or at the same time.
As for the murder investigation of Adalynn, Spokane County Sheriff’s spokesman Deputy Mark Gregory said Tuesday that detectives have not developed any new information or suspects following Obermiller’s acquittal.
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