Baby in grandmother’s care after parents incarcerated
A 3-month-old baby girl was placed with her grandmother after both the infant’s parents were incarcerated for probation violations.
District Judge Dave Gamble ordered Robert Blaik Jorgenson, 27, to serve a five-year prison term after revoking his probation Tuesday for his part in a burglary ring last year.
Jorgenson and Melanie Kern, 24, the baby’s mother, were arrested Sept. 15 on child endangerment charges after witnesses said they were carrying their then-7-week-old daughter around “like a football” at a bowling alley and exposing the infant to adults who were fighting.
Jorgenson and Kern pleaded guilty Oct. 10 in East Fork Justice Court to disorderly conduct.
Jorgenson was returned to District Court on a felony probation violation and other infractions including failing to pay supervision fees.
He denied Tuesday that the child had been in danger at the bowling alley.
“I was burping her,” he told Gamble.
Jorgenson said he had been clean and sober for months and relapsed when he and Kern went to the bowling alley for their first night out since their daughter was born.
He said a woman who offered to watch the child at their home brought the baby to the bowling alley when she had to return to Carson City.
Jorgenson admitted he and Kern had been drinking and she got into an argument with a patron who said they shouldn’t have the child at the bowling alley.
“I was trying to break them up,” he said.
Jorgenson said he’d been trying to be a good father to his daughter.
“I feel I made a big change in my life. It’s a learning process,” he said. “I quit doing drugs on July 25, 2006. That’s been a huge accomplishment in my life. I used since I was 12. I want to be there for my daughter. I am pretty ashamed about being here.”
Gamble read to Jorgenson from the transcript of his November 2006 sentencing for the burglaries.
“Here’s what I said: ‘If I see you again, you are going to prison,'” Gamble said.
“I’m done with you, Mr. Jorgenson. If you’re going to be a father, this isn’t the way to do it.”
He gave Jorgenson credit for 99 days served.
Kern was arrested on Sunday for reportedly drinking alcohol in violation of her probation on the disorderly conduct charge. She was jailed on $5,000 cash bail and is to appear today in East Fork Justice Court.
According to court reports, she was a suspect at a domestic disturbance in the 1400 block of Sugar Maple in Gardnerville.
Authorities said she had the baby with her and the child was released to the care of her grandmother.