27-year-old Scott Jurewicz of Jackson, Michigan, has been charged with the murder of two children only weeks apart from each other. It was a perfect storm of red tape and bad decisions that allowed the second murder to take place.
Back in March, Jurewucz was living with the mother of Brenden Hartranft when the 18-month-old was unresponsive. He was on life support three days before finally passing. The hospital told Brenden’s mother that Brenden may have died from a spinal injury. Police believed Jurewucz was the only suspect. Prosecutors said they wouldn’t issue an arrest warrant for Brenden’s murder against Jurewucz until they had the autopsy report back. In the meantime Brenden’s mother filed all sorts of protection orders against Jurewucz but he allegedly ignored them continually.
While prosecutors were waiting for the autopsy report Jurewucz moved in with another woman. According to court documents the woman was allegedly warned that she may not want to leave her children alone with him. She is said to have replied that she trusts him with her children and that she believed Jurewucz was being set-up. Then in late May, that woman’s 21-month-old son, Jesse Pepper Jr., was also dead. A day after Jesse’s death prosecutors received the autopsy report for Brenden that he died from blunt force trauma and arrested Jurewucz for his murder.
Unfortunately CPS could not remove the children from the second woman’s home as Michigan law states they can only be removed with evidence of abuse.
Jurewucz has not yet been charged in Jesse’s death yet possibly because prosecutors are awaiting on the outcome for his trial for Brenden’s murder. He is facing a mandatory life sentence in that case.
My description of the stalking that Jurewucz allegedly perpetrated is not even scratching the surface to describe the horror that he is said to have put Brenden’s mother through. I urge you to read the links below to see the extent of the harassment. When someone has had a protection order filed against them, as useless as they can be, it’s usually for a good reason and they’re normally not being ‘set up’. Abusers are usually liars and manipulators as well and are not to ever be trusted.
Thanks to Soobs for the tip.
UPDATE 10/26/2015: The mother of Jesse Pepper Jr. has had her parental rights terminated after allegedly not heeding several warnings about Jurewicz.
Jurewicz’s trial date is tentatively scheduled for January, 2016.