Legal Analysis Sought From Barry Covert by WGRZ on Sentencing of Parents in Teen’s Death

Barry Covert, a Buffalo-based, nationally recognized criminal defense attorney, was asked by WGRZ for his perspective on the sentencing of Jeremy and Astrid Ikeler in the death of their 15-year-old daughter, who died of a seizure in January 2014. The Ikelers had not obtained treatment for a medical condition that caused the teen’s seizure. Mr. Ikeler, who pled guilty to criminally negligent homicide, will serve up to four years in state prison. His wife pled guilty to attempted criminally negligent homicide and was granted a one-year conditional discharge.

Click here for Mr. Covert’s full analysis.

A question of intent

Mr. Covert said about the parents’ behavior, “It’s a failure to perceive the risk that you have caused.” He continued, “There’s no intent here, and because there’s no intent, it’s the lowest level felony, and the maximum for that felony is one-and-a-third to four [years].”

Additional charges

Mr. Ikeler’s prison term also covers his guilty plea to a reduced charge of attempted sexual conduct against a child for sodomizing another of the couple’s children last year. He will have to submit to 10 years of post-prison-release supervision, and the judge issued an order of protection barring him from trying in any way to contact his sex crime victim until the year 2040.

Ms. Ikeler, a German citizen who is allegedly in this country illegally, has been turned over to U.S. Customs and Immigration officials and will face deportation proceedings.

The Ikelers two remaining daughters are now in the care of a relative.

Mr. Covert, a member of Lipsitz Green Scime Cambria’s Criminal Defense Trials and Appeals Practice Area, is known for his aggressive representation of clients in the areas of New York State and federal criminal trials and appeals; constitutional law, including First Amendment, civil rights actions, and federal False Claims Act; defending against allegations of scientific misconduct and fraud, research misconduct and fraud, plagiarism, and fabrication of evidence; and professional licensing defense.