So Much For Second Chances!
One Thursday evening in early April of 2007, Jessica Kasten called autorities to report that her 6 month old son Gavin was not breathing. Kasten had taken methamphetamine and passed out about 9 p.m. the previous evening. She didn't wake up to check on the child until 18 to 22 hours later. It was determined that the child had sufficated in his bassinet while Kasten slept.
Kasten subsequently was convicted of child neglect causing death. As a condition of the plea agreement, prosecutors dropped a bail jumping charge against Kasten. This charge was based on allegations that she had been drinking while out on bail in violation of the terms and conditions of her release.
In April, Marathon County Circuit Judge Patrick Brady decided against sending Kasten to prison and instead placed her on probation for a period of ten years. In giving Kasten the break of a lifetime, the judge noted that he felt "he owed it to the surviving children not to take their mother from them".
In any event, in what should come as a surprise to no one, it looks like Judge Brady's faith in Kasten was misplaced.
At around 9 p.m. last night, Kasten was stopped for speeding. The arresting oficer noted that her two children, ages 2 and 3, were improperly buckled in. A preliminary breath test showed that Kasten's blood alcohol level was .15 (almost twice the legal limit). A second test showed her blood alcohol level at .11 (still over the legal limit).
Let's put this in perspective. About seven weeks after being put on probation for neglect in connection with the death of her infant son, Kasten was allegedly speeding and driving drunk while her two surviving children were improperly restrained in the car.
Obviously this woman has a pretty serious problem. However, it's her children and the rest of us who have an even bigger problem. If these allegations are true, Kasten is clearly a menace who has not learned her lesson.
Judge Brady put Kasten on probation last time. Maybe this time, it will be double secret probation.
I'm sure that will really teach her! Not!