A woman convicted of killing her infant nephew in 1998 in Great Bend is eligible for a parole hearing in February.
Crystal J. Jasper, also known as Crystal Janelle Spies, is now 37 years old and has a job at the Topeka Correctional Facility’s Work Release Center. Her custody level is minimum.
If granted parole, her earliest date of release would be March 1, 2016.
The Prisoner Review Board will hold public comment sessions in January for inmates scheduled for February parole hearings. The board will also accept written comments from any citizen wishing to be heard concerning this inmate. Sessions will be held Jan. 13 at the Derby Police and Courts Building, Jan. 22 at the Topeka Municipal Courthouse, and Jan. 25 at City Hall in Kansas City. Written comments may be mailed to Kansas Department of Corrections, Prisoner Review Board; 714 Jackson St., Suite 300; Topeka, KS 66603.
Court documents recall the events that led to Jasper’s first degree murder conviction based on child abuse by intentional shaking. She lived across the street from her brother and sister-in-law, Mark and Debbie Jasper, in Great Bend. On March 11, 1998, Crystal was caring for her niece, Miranda, age 2, and nephew, Lance, age 5 months. Sometime between 5:45 a.m. and 7:30 a.m., she informed her boyfriend that something was wrong with Lance, who was not breathing. He died on March 13, 1998.
The autopsy of the baby’s body performed by Dr. Corrie May found several injuries and Dr. May opined that Lance’s death was caused by shaken impact syndrome.
At her sentencing, Jasper admitted what she had done and expressed remorse. An appeal intended to reduce her conviction to second-degree murder was unsuccessful.