Orange City, Iowa — The sentence for Rochelle Sapp — the in-home daycare provider who was charged with causing the death of an Orange City toddler two years ago — has been cut in half.
Sapp was originally sentenced to 100 years in prison as part of a plea agreement. Following the announcement of the plea agreement a year ago, District Court Judge Edward Jacobsen sentenced Sapp to a 5-year prison term for Involuntary Manslaughter and a 50-year term for Child Endangerment Resulting In Death. Those sentences were to be served concurrently. Jacobsen sentenced Sapp to an additional 50 years on multiple acts of Child Endangerment, which was to run consecutively to the other 50-year sentence, for a total prison term of 100 years. The plea agreement allowed Sapp to be eligible for parole. Without a plea agreement, she would have been sentenced to life without parole.
This past Thursday, October 15th, according to court records, Judge Jacobsen wrote an order that stated, “[According to Iowa Code,] the court has one year from the day that the defendant was found guilty to reconsider its sentence. Less than one year has passed since October 18, 2014. …in arriving at its decision with regard to this matter, the court has considered that [the] defendant [(Sapp)] had no prior record of any kind, that she has been a model prisoner and is [a] teacher at the school while in prison. The court has spoken with her counselor and she has had absolutely no issues of any kind during the nearly one year that she has been incarcerated.”
The judge’s order goes on to say, “The court finds that the interest of justice require[s] that it reconsider the portion of the sentence in which the court ordered the two 50-year sentences to run consecutive to one another and finds that they should instead be ordered to run concurrently.”