Woman charged in infant daughter's death in Delphos rejects plea deal

J Swygart, The Lima News, Ohio
·1 min read

Mar. 15—LIMA — Nearly three years after 22-month-old Madilylnn Shellabarger died as a result of what investigators said was blunt force trauma, the infant's mother will stand trial for her death later this month.

Vicki Shellabarger, 38, appeared briefly Monday morning in Allen County Common Pleas Court for a final pretrial hearing in her case prior to her upcoming jury trial. During that hearing, she formally rejected an offer from prosecutors to resolve the case. The plea deal was not entered into the official record.

Jury selection in her trial will begin the morning of March 30.

Shellabarger is charged with murder, an unclassified felony; involuntary manslaughter, a first-degree felony; endangering children, a felony of the second degree; and a third-degree felony count of endangering children in connection with the death of her daughter.

The infant was found unresponsive in a Delphos apartment on April 29, 2018, and died later that day at a Lima hospital as the result of blunt force trauma.

The case has been delayed many times, first by the illness of Shellabarger's attorney and later by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In June of last year, more than two years after Madilynn Shellabarger's death, the case against the infant's mother took an unexpected twist. A jury trial scheduled to begin in June was delayed after it was revealed that new evidence in the case had come to light.

None of the parties discussed the contents of the new information, although the judge said the document involved "an individual who is currently incapacitated who may or may not have very valuable information" that is pertinent to Shellabarger's case.