Husband Of Scorned Daycare Provider Talks About His Experience, Expresses Thanks To Community
A Laramie man is speaking out about his experience after his wife’s arrest for allegedly abusing an eight-month-old boy at a home daycare.
Mishawnna Jennings was arrested on November 5, 2014 in connection with injuries sustained by the boy while he was under her care. She is currently out on bond awaiting trial for a charge of Aggravated Child Abuse, a felony punishable of up to 25 years imprisonment.
JamieJames Jennings, Mishawnna Jennings’ husband, was out of town when Mishawnna Jennings was arrested, and he says he had no idea that his wife was accused of any crime until the day after his wife’s arrest. He was out of town for work and medical reasons for about two and a half months before the alleged crime was committed. He says he was shocked when he got the one minute phone call from Mishawnna on November 6 telling him about her arrest.
JamieJames immediately began his trip home via bus, arriving in Laramie on November 8. He says the bus ride home was filled with worry and dread. He was unable to contact anyone who could provide information about his children’s whereabouts, and he was worried for their safety. Upon his arrival in Laramie, he quickly worked to gain custody of his three children. He now has custody and is working to help them understand what has happened.
“I am truly sorry that I was not here to prevent this from happening, but I am here now to make sure that my three children are taken care of every day. I am a full-time father. I make sure that they are fed, clean, clothed, a roof over their head, and they go to school,” says Jennings. “I really am truly sorry to the family, and friends, and relatives of the child, and I just wish the best wellness to the child.”
JamieJames says he is appalled by what happened while he was away.
“I don’t think it’s right at all, what occurred. I want people to know that --and the community to realize that-- no, I’m not okay with what happened,” says Jennings.
After his wife’s arrest, JamieJames filed for divorce, saying that the abuse was too much for him to take or accept.
His return to Laramie has been a difficult one. He says the most difficult thing for him has been the knowledge that the case has caused his six-year-old child to be bullied at school. One classmate even brought a newspaper with an article about the incident to class.
“The fact that my children are being blamed for it, as well, really has hurt me a lot during this time. Just being back here from November until now, every day there is something new.”
In addition to his oldest child being bullied in school, Jennings says he has personally been the victim of hatred and anger as well. He says he has had difficulty obtaining a job, has been verbally attacked in public places and even woke up one morning to find the tires on his truck slashed.
Despite the anger he has seen, he is grateful for the Laramie community and their support for the victim and the family. He recently learned about a fundraiser sponsored by the Laramie Taco John’s in which the community worked together to contribute more than $5,000 to the victim’s family.
“Thank you. Thank you for doing what you did at Taco John's,” Jennings says as a message to the Laramie community. “And thank you to Taco John’s for doing what they did.”
He said he was astounded by the outpouring of support.
“I loved that the community had done something for a child. It really blew me away that the community did that.”
Jennings wants to ensure that his wife answers to her actions. He encourages anyone who may have similar experiences to come forward and share their stories.
“If there is anybody that had issues or had problems at any time, of any kind, or whatever the case may be, I would ask them to come forward now. Even if they just said a statement regarding their experience, I would ask them to please tell somebody.”
Jennings says he hopes the community can move forward in support for the family of the boy who was injured at the daycare.
“I feel really bad, and I’m really sad. I wish things were different, but things have happened, and now we have to take what we have and keep on going with our love, respect, and peace.”