Putnam County Mother Pleads Guilty to Child Neglect

By: Laurabree Austin
By: Laurabree Austin

Imagine your child dying and knowing you're at least partially responsible.

Tuesday Pepper Eren pleaded guilty to child neglect in a Putnam County courtroom. Her little boy, Logan Goodall died last year from extensive physical and sexual abuse. She was offered a plea agreement by the state and she took it.

Pepper Eren wiped away tears as she sat in judge OC Spaulding’s courtroom. Before he accepted her guilty plea she explained to the court what happened the day Logan died.

Pepper Eren states, “He wasn't feeling well, I had suggested we take him to the doctor and I did not, I neglected to do so. I do find my guilt there. Looking back there were a lot of things I should have seen that I did not.”

Eren says for months Mike Merrifield continued to give explanations for different injuries she would see on her little boy. She says at the time she believed him. Now prosecutors say they believe her and they're willing to cut a deal in exchange for her testimony.

"What’s essential to public interest is we prosecute the individual who's responsible for killing this child, that's obviously our priority." states Mark Sorsaia Putnam Co. Prosecutor

But not everyone here agrees...

Ginger Baldwin is Logan’s great aunt on his father's side. She says Eren's guilty plea to child neglect isn't enough.
Ginger Baldwin says, “Oh well, she certainly got a better deal than Logan got.”

Prosecutors agree it was a concession by the state but they believe they've done the right thing.

Mark Sorsaia comments, "She did plea to a felony, I think it does meet the ends of justice that she took responsibility for negligence to this child and I think that's appropriate."

Eren's sentencing date is set for September 1st. She could spend anywhere from one to ten years behind bars. She can also be additionally fined up to three thousand dollars.

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