Man Arrested in Meth Bust at Daycare Sentenced to Probation - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Man Arrested in Meth Bust at Daycare Sentenced to Probation

Updated: July 1, 2013 10:29 PM
Dale Blumer Dale Blumer

Justice has not been served - that's what one mother is saying after the Davenport man who was making methamphetamine inside the home day care facility where her son spent every day was told he won't be spending any time in prison for his crimes.

The judge instead gave him a chance to prove he can be a productive member of society without going behind bars.

The plea deal the state agreed to could have sent him away for up to 25 years.


Dale Blumer pleaded guilty to four felonies.

Count one, manufacturing methamphetamine, carried with it an indeterminate prison term not to exceed 25 years.

Counts two and three, unlawful possession of a product used to manufacture methamphetamine, lithium and psuedoephedrine respectively, each carried up to five years in prison

So did the fourth count, child endangerment.

As part of the plea agreement between Blumer and the state of Iowa, those prison terms would run concurrently -- That is, the max time Blumer would spend in prison would be 25 years.

The court, however, was not bound to the terms of that agreement, and when Blumer went before the judge last week, he was ordered to pay about $12,000 in fines, surcharges and court costs; was given a suspended prison sentence; and was put on five years probation instead.

That's the max term of probation allowed under the charges to which Blumer pleaded guilty.

Assistant Scott County Attorney Kelly Cunningham says most felony cases that get probation are sentenced to two years probation, so the five year probation sentence is rare. Conditions of Blumer's probation include completing inpatient drug treatment, holding down a job, and staying clean for the complete duration.

"Every situation is different. Every crime that is committed is different. The individuals who commit crimes, their needs are different. The ability to rehabilitate them is different," Cunningham said.

Cunningham says her guess is that the judge saw some potential for rehabilitation in the confidential report on Blumer's background, called the presentencing investigation report, presented to her by the Department of Corrections before she handed the sentence down.

"When the state appeared at sentencing we asked for a period of incarceration, and were surprised that he did not receive a period of incarceration," Cunningham said.

"These are very dangerous crimes," she added, "Manufacturing in and of itself is one of those processes that results in explosions and people being killed, and then the risk to my officers as far as exposure and the risk to children."

That's something one Davenport woman knows all too well. Her four-year-old son was one of the children who was in Amanda Taylor Child Care, which was operated out of a home on W 60th Street, when Blumer was making meth there.

She spoke to us on the condition of anonymity. But, she had a lot to say about Blumer's sentence:

"No, it's not justice," she told us. "They don't know the effects its going to have on my son. They don't know."

Her four-year-old tested positive for high levels of methamphetamine exposure after Blumer's arrest in December.

"He didn't just do it to himself. A lot of people who do drugs, and make, sell, whatever - usually they're exposing themselves to it. But my son tested positive. Not just a little positive. I feel like a lot," she explained

"I do think he should have had some time in prison," she said.

Now, with Blumer sentenced only to probation this mother is looking for a different outcome the case of the woman who ran the daycare and who also faces charges - Amanda Taylor herself. She says she knows what she wants to see:

"Justice. More justice than what I see with Dale's case."

Taylor is set to go to trial later this summer. She still has the option to plead guilty right up until then.

Cunningham said it's possible that Taylor may be swayed by the outcome of Dale Blumer's case in making that decision, but there are no guarantees.

"If she chooses to plead guilty, you don't know who would be the sentencing judge and everybody has their own philosophies in terms of approaches," Cunningham explained.

Blumer was given 45 days from the date of his sentencing to find an inpatient treatment program.

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