Grand Jury: no criminal liability in Clutter family deaths - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Grand Jury: no criminal liability in deaths of mom, children found in creek

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10-year-old Brandon Clutter and 6-month-old Katelyn Clutter (along with their mother, Jaime Clutter) were found dead in a New Albany creek in March. 10-year-old Brandon Clutter and 6-month-old Katelyn Clutter (along with their mother, Jaime Clutter) were found dead in a New Albany creek in March.

NEW ALBANY, Ind. (WDRB) -- There was no foul play involved in the deaths of a New Albany mother and her two children back in March. That's the conclusion of the Floyd Co. Grand Jury.

But there are still many unanswered questions about this very strange case.

The grand jury met for 5 days and heard 17 witnesses. They found that there was no crime in the drowning deaths of Jaime Clutter, 10-year-old Brandon and 6-month-old Katelyn.

Bottom line. It was a very tragic accident.

"It is a bizarre set of circumstances," said Floyd Co. Prosecutor Keith Henderson.

Bizarre but not criminal. That's the conclusion of the Grand Jury.

"They do not believe Jaime Clutter killed her two children. Nor do they believe that Jaime Clutter drowned her two children," he said.

Nor did Jaime Clutter commit suicide.

Henderson says, for some reason, Clutter left her apartment with her two children in a big hurry. They were not properly clothed for the 18 degree wind chill.

And Henderson revealed for the first time, that Clutter did knock on a neighbor's door at 7 a.m., apparently trying to escape the cold. But the neighbor did not let them in.

"Remember at the time of year it was, it was still dark. So, the neighbor was startled because you have someone knocking on your door at that point," said Henderson.

Jaime and the children made their way to Binford Park, where they were later found drowned, unclothed in the creek. Henderson believes they were disoriented, suffering the effects of hypothermia.

"And in cases [like this], they start to disrobe because they actually believe that they are extremely hot which, of course, leads to death," he said.

In short, this was an accident caused, in part, by the extreme cold.

"I believe there's a high probability that if those events happened today in this temperature that we wouldn't be here. I think hypothermia played that kind of role in these tragic deaths," said Henderson.

And unless some new evidence is brought forward, Henderson says he considers this case closed.

Jaime's husband, Mike Clutter,  has said in the past that his wife did not intentionally kill their children.  He spoke with WDRB's Tamara Evans on Thursday afternoon about the initial police findings.

"I did not care for the ruling that was from the police department at all, and I think they need to go on camera and public apologize," says Mike Clutter.

Mike Clutter says his wife was a good mom, and that he never believed what was being said about her.

"They said that she was crazy and had postpartum depression and killed the kids and committed suicide," says Mike Clutter.

He says it disturbs him to know she knocked on a neighbor's door with the kids, and they didn't let them inside.

"Somebody that is that small and obviously cold outside. At the very least that they could have done if they were frightened would have been to call the cops," says Mike Clutter.

All of this new information weighs heavy on Mike Clutter's mind.

He says, it's hard to move forward as he thinks of his family daily.

"My wife was really sweet. My little girl and my boy, he was just so outgoing," says Mike Clutter.

Mike Clutter was one of the witnesses who testified to the grand jury. 

They found he played no role in his families death.

 On Thursday evening, New Albany's Police Chief, Sherri Knight, released the following statement:

"Today has been very difficult as we attended the funeral service of our city controller and very dear friend, Mary Ann Prestigiacomo.   We learned of the press conference give by Floyd County Prosecutor Henderson earlier today, but have not yet had an opportunity to review the statements.  After reviewing those, we will provide a response if appropriate".  

 

POLICE: New Albany mother drowned children, then drowned, as well

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