FRANKLIN, Ind. (WISH) - A judge who granted unsupervised visitation for a mother who police say drowned her 3-year-old son is now questioning why certain information wasn't presented in the case.
"I often look back at decisions I make and wonder, had I been provided the information I needed, how that would have affected the order," Johnson County Judge Mark Loyd said, reflecting on the case of Amanda Smith and her son, Jacob.
But Cindy Booth, executive director for Child Advocates Inc., which provides independent representation for neglected and abused children in the Marion County court system, says the system works.
"I think our system works very well in that when a party has a concern about who has custody and what's going on in the case, they must gather the evidence and present it to the judge. That's just how our system works," she said.
Smith's troubled past included drug addiction and two convictions for child neglect. The convictions led to her parents becoming the legal guardians of Jacob.
A court order issued by Loyd allowed Smith one overnight visit a week. The last visit ended with the child's death.
The judge said when he made that ruling, he didn't know about the 200 calls Smith had made over the years to 911. Investigators now say those calls showed irrational behavior.
"If those had been brought to my attention," Loyd said, "it's certainly likely it could have had an impact on my court order."
Raw information, like 911 calls, gathered by law enforcement investigators is not routinely forwarded to judges
"I'm not sure family court judges would want every 911 call forwarded to them on all their open cases. That would just be prohibitive," Booth said.
It is up to the parties involved in a court case to come up with and share information with the judge she said.
An 83-year-old woman was killed in a house fire in Owen County Tuesday night.
A multi-vehicle accident on Interstate 65 shut down lanes Wednesday morning.
The Boone County Sheriff's Office asked that drivers use caution Wednesday morning as black ice was reported on some bridges in the county.