ORANGE CITY, IOWA – An Iowa daycare provider may someday get out of jail, but was sentenced to 100 years in prison Friday in a Sioux County courtroom for throwing a three-year-old girl and killing her.
Rochelle Sapp, age 34, accepted a plea agreement where she pled guilty to more than one act of child endangerment, involuntary manslaughter and child endangerment resulting in death Her crimes resulted in a 100 year prison sentence. The judge also ordered her to pay $150,000 in restitution, which will be paid to the family of three-year-old Autumn Elgersma, the victim.
On Tuesday, October 29, 2013, Sapp was providing day care services at her residence to three-year-old Autumn Elgersma, also of Orange City. An incident occurred in Sapp’s home which resulted in Autumn being hospitalized with severe head trauma. Autumn was initially treated for her injuries at the Orange City Hospital, but because of the severity of her injuries, she was subsequently airlifted to Sanford Hospital in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Autumn died as a result of her injuries on October 31, 2013.
In autopsy was conducted by the State Medical Examiner’s Office in Ankeny, Iowa. The medical examiner determined that Autumn died as a result of a blunt force head injury. Autumn’s death was ruled a homicide.
The agencies involved in the investigation into this crime include the Orange City Police Department, the Minnehaha County Sheriff’s Office, the Sioux Falls Police Department, and the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation.