White's sentencing rescheduled for this Friday
It was a startling sight to all of those attending the sentencing of Tyler White at the Wells County Superior Court Room on Monday morning. Approximately a half hour into the sentencing session, Judge Brian Hutchison of Jay County, gave a startled look toward the courtroom windows.
"I see flames of 20 feet shooting from the building beside us," said the judge.
Court was immediately recessed and the packed room of those attending the sentencing were asked to exit in an orderly fashion and not use the elevators.
Outside the courthouse, fire and rescue vehicles from several surrounding communities were fighting a full scale blaze at the large brick building located immediately west of the courthouse.
"I've had better days," exclaimed Bluffton Mayor Ted Ellis as he stood beneath a canopy and stared at the building in disbelief through a steady rainstorm. The courthouse was closed for the day and those attending the sentencing were sent home, pending the rescheduled date.
That date is this Friday, Nov. 18, at 9:30 a.m.
Prior to the recess, the parents of Amy Meyer, who had been murdered by White in October of 2009, gave impact statements to a solemn courtroom and judge concerning their feelings about the loss of their daughter.
"Tyler, my heart aches every hour of the day," said Meyer's mother, Mary Fryback, to White. "I can't tell you how much I miss her. She was such a loving, caring, thoughtful baby. It doesn't seem right that Amy is no longer with us. It doesn't seem right that you shot the mother of my little grandson.
"You have brought such pain and sorrow to so many people," continued Fryback. "My heart aches for little Max. You have taken his mother away from him. You took her right in front of his own little innocent eyes. It's a choice you made; you hurt so many people. One night I was dreaming that I was looking into her beautiful smiling face. Then I woke up and realized that she is in Heaven with God."
Fryback said emphatically to White that he shows no remorse for what he did. She recommended a complete life sentence to Judge Hutchison.
Wells County Prosecutor Michael Lautzenheiser emphatically listed several aggravated factors that he recommended by considered for White's sentencing.
"This murder has deeply affected the child and family," said Lautzenheiser. "It left Max without a parent; he is going to grow up without a mother or father and one parent is dead. One parent will be in prison for most of Max's life. The damage to this young man is going to be irreplaceable. He too, is a victim in this case."
Lautzenheiser said that murder charges are punishable by a range of 45 to 65 years in prison. Killing an unborn child (Meyer was pregnant at the time) is punishable by six to 20 years in of incarceration. Lautzenheiser asked at the minimum for at least 55 years for the murder and 13 years for killing the unborn child.
"I'm asking for a middle ground sentence at a minimum," said Lautzenheiser.
Lautzenheiser listed 10 statues that the state says could help mitigate the sentence or a portion of it.
"Not one of these statues apply to Tyler White," said Lautzenheiser. "There are at least five aggravating factors and they all apply to him; no mitigating factors apply. That says a lot about what the nature of this sentence should be."
"I think of Amy every day and many times a day," said Meyer's father, Michael Meyer in his impact statement. "I have many wonderful memories of Amy. I remember her as a little girl playing and growing up. I have memories of her playing sports in junior high, high school and college. I have memories of going to ball games with her and of her stopping by the house with Max to visit. These memories along with the prayers of many people help me to get through each day.
"These are all memories. These times will never happen again," continued Meyer. "I won't call Amy to go with me to watch another basketball game. Amy won't knock at my door with Max to just drop in. The phone won't ring on the morning of my birthday with her on the other end to say, "happy birthday, Dad!"
Meyer said that he would never forget the morning of Oct. 27, 2009, when police arrived at his place of employment to tell him that his daughter had been shot and killed. He will never forget the memories of seeing her in the casket and his unborn grandson laying beside her before the casket was closed.
"What kind of father would kill his son's mother," said Meyer. "You not only killed his mother, you killed his mother with him standing there in full view of it. As was stated in the trial, you left Max alone in the garage with his mother lying on the floor dying while you went outside the garage and shot her cell phone and then went inside the house and washed your hands.
"Max could be heard in the background of the 911 call sobbing, "mama, mama," continued Meyer. "What kind of father does this? Max will have to live the rest of his life without his mother. His mother will never take him to his first day of school. Max will never go on another bike ride with his mom. He will never go swimming again with his mom. Max will never bounce a ball or play catch with his mom. He'll never be greeted by her when he comes home from school. Because of what you did, Max will live the rest of his life without his mom."
Meyer recalled an incident when Max was with him and saw the vehicle his mother had been driving before she was killed.
"He excitedly shouted, 'mommy's here, mommy's here,â€™" Meyer said. "Not only will Max live the rest of his life without his mother, but he will also live the rest of his life without his brother. You have cheated Max out of a relationship with his brother. You have taken the life of one of my grandsons."
Meyer said that family members and friends shudder at the thought of what Amy went through in those last few moments of her life.
"You have spent two years lying and trying to cover up the murder you committed," said Meyer emphatically. "You had your days in court and all your lies were exposed. I believe that you should be sentenced to the maximum possible of 65 years for murder of Amy and 20 years in the enhancement sentence for also killing Amy's unborn son."
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