The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

AP story section

July 8, 2013

Parents seethe over Iowa man's suspended sentence

DAVENPORT — The suspended sentence of a man convicted of running a meth lab at a home child day care has some parents complaining of a miscarriage of justice.

Dale Blumer, 35, recently pleaded guilty to manufacturing meth, child endangerment and three other charges and received a suspended 25-year sentence.

Blumer’s suspended sentence has Fawn Waack seething. Waack said her 4-year-old son regularly attended the day care when police discovered the meth lab in late December. The boy tested for high amounts of meth, she said, and she thinks Blumer should be in prison.

Waack is most upset that her son never was listed as a victim in Blumer’s case.

“Every kid in that day care was a victim,” she said. “My son got the worst of it, but no one thought of him. It’s like he doesn’t exist.”

Scott County District Judge Nancy Tabor, who suspended Blumer’s sentence, said in an email to Waack that she was never made aware of any victims in Blumer’s case.

“I made my decision based upon the information in the file, which did not contain any comments or statements from any parents or anyone else on behalf of the state,” the judge wrote.

Blumer’s live-in girlfriend at the time of his arrest and operator of the day car, 34-year-old Amanda Taylor, is set to be sentenced Thursday on similar charges. Waack said she’ll be at Taylor’s sentencing, and already has written her victim-impact statement.

But Waack and Taylor’s ex-husband, Freddie Taylor, said they weren’t notified of Blumer’s sentencing so that they could inform the judge of the impact the crimes had on their children.

“My kids were living in that house with a meth lab in the bedroom,” said Freddie Taylor, who is now caring for his and Amanda Taylor’s four children and is seeking permanent custody. “My daughter will always remember coming out of the house with police pointing guns at them. I would have liked to address the judge — let her know this guy’s really done a number on my kids.”

Scott County Attorney Mike Walton said Waack’s son is listed as a registered victim in the state’s case against Taylor, but not Blumer. The reason, he said, is Taylor’s arrest came after the boy’s meth exposure was discovered.

Walton said an assistant county attorney consulted the parents of children in the day care in pursuing charges against Blumer, but both Waack and Freddie Taylor say they were never consulted.

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