Madilyne Christine Wentz
May 17, 2004 - April 14, 2005
Find A Grave Memorial
Rachel Sumner Wentz did what she was supposed to do. She searched the list of State licensed daycare providers so that she could ensure the safety of her daughter Madilyne, while she herself, went to work. For the first three days, things seemed to be going just fine. On the fourth day, Rachel went to the daycare to pick up Madilyne and found her in an unconscious state. As it turned out, the daycare provider found Madilyne to be irritable that day and thought she was crying too much. 

What did she do? Did she try to comfort her, or to figure out what was wrong? Did she call Rachel and let her know that Madilyne was inconsolable? None of these options was used, the daycare provider shook Madilyne so hard that BOTH side of her brain had suffered massive strokes. Within 24 hours of arriving at the hospital in Altus, Madilyne would die from these brain injuries.

During the final 36 hours of her life, Madilyne and her family had to prepare for her death. The injuries she had been given by her daycare provider had been so traumatic that she was in a coma. Suffering from massive head trauma, bilateral retinal hemorrhaging, bruises on her body, including a golf ball sized bruise on her pelvis and finger print bruises on her shoulders, Madilyne had no chance at all to survive the attack which came from someone the state of Oklahoma had seen fit to license as a daycare provider. Madilyne Christine Wentz was pronounced brain dead on April 14, 2005, at 9:50 a.m. Madilyne was placed in the arms of her mother who could only sit and wait for her to take her last breath. Matthew Wentz, Madilyne's father and Rachel Sumner Wentz, her mother, would have to bury their beautiful baby daughter, when she was only 11 months old.

The Tulsa County Medical Examiners Office ruled the death of Madilyne as a homicide due to shaken baby syndrome. I have found very few news articles that actually name the daycare provider who was supposed to be taking care of Madilyne that day, her name is Melinda Bautista. Melinda was arrested and held on $500,000. bond which was eventually reduced to only $100,000. and she posted that bond in June of 2005. On August 18, 2005, Melinda was in front of a judge trying to suppress her two hour confession of what she had done to Madilyne. Thankfully, that request was denied by the judge. During that confession, Melinda said:

"I shook Madilyne until she went blue in the face, gasped and went quiet"
Melinda Bautista

A trial date was set for March 20, 2006. In November of 200, Steven Jones, the attorney for Melinda appeared in court for pretrial motions so that motions to go before the jury could be heard. Melinda's court appointed lawyers had been fired after stating there wasn't anything they could do for her since there was a taped confession. Also present was a new judge. The old judge had excused himself since Melinda had recently joined the church which he attended. During the courtroom appearance, the judge and the lawyer for Melinda were seen laughing and joking together, leaving the impression, with Madilyne's family, that the two were friends:

"I could not believe how unprofessional the pretrial was handled. Stepping outside between 
recesses, I felt an overwhelming apprehension of the judges’ personal friendship with the 
defendants lawyer not knowing how this could or would affect the future of the jury trial"
Rachel Sumner Wentz

The restrictions on Melinda's bond were expanded to include statewide travel. This would allow her to attend her daughters basketball games, to attend church functions and to see her lawyer in Oklahoma City. That doesn't seem fair at all. Matthew, Rachel and the other people who loved Madilyne would NEVER get to see her grow up, to play basketball, to see her first steps, hear her first words, be there for her first heartbreak, no proms, no first date, no wedding, no grandchildren, yet, the woman who had murdered her was free to come and go as she pleased.

When Melinda went to trial, it would take a year for the final outcome to SHOCK so many. Melinda was found not guilty by a jury of six men and six women who took LESS than ONE HOUR to come up with this ridiculous verdict. Stephen Jones said:

"Clearly, the jury paid close attention to the evidence and the judge was very fair"

Let's just hope that none of this jury ever finds themselves on the other side of the law, up against Stephen jones and his Judge "friend".

Another quote by Stephen Jones:

"I'm glad to see that people are moving away from the idea you can shake a baby to death 
without an impact"

Excuse me but, what the HELL does that even mean? Melinda's case was not the first case of shaken baby syndrome that this man had defended and got the murderer off without penalty. How can ANYONE know that a person has committed such a crime and still defend them? How many children have to die in this terrible way before people understand that it IS a real problem?

It's a miscarriage of justice when the victims of these crimes are laying six feet under the ground, or as in the cases of the survivors, walking around every day knowing they will not get to watch their child grow up, hurting, missing them, aching to hold them, love them and nurture them. It's so disgusting to me that the people who murder these innocent babies are walking around free while the victims are imprisoned for life in way or another. We can only pray that they won't get back what they gave.

I have read things about this case and if they are true, OTHER families had trouble at this very same daycare with this very same lady. I wonder if Stephen knows about them, if he does, does he care? Would it matter to him if he knew these other families and that they pulled their children out of Melinda's daycare? I would like to think it would, I seriously doubt it though.

Here are some words of wisdom for Stephen and other "lawyers" such as himself. Children do NOT get shaken to death from being in a bouncy toy. Children do NOT get bruises, shaped like fingers, on their bodies, from being in bouncy toys. The brains of children do NOT get bounced around in their skulls, from being in bouncy toys. I wish I was creative and could stitch that onto a pillow and send it to EVERY lawyer who defends those who murder children through shaken baby syndrome.

"This was a beautiful, loving and delicate child. Her smile could bring the sun out from the clouds. 
We lived day and night just to see her beautiful smile. We miss her beyond what words can express. 
She was our bright shining star"
Love you Madie, your granny

"I would give anything if I could just have heard Madi say “Mama” just once"
Rachel Sumner Wentz


Site creators note:

I suppose people will say that since Melinda was found not guilty, I should not post here that she is a murderer, well, sorry, in my OPINION, she IS a murderer. She admitted what she did, there were bruises which were consistent with what she said she did and Madilyne is dead. I suppose people will also say that I shouldn't be so hard her lawyer, Stephen. Sorry again, he's a scum bag in my OPINION. Doing what is MORALLY right, should come before making a name for yourself , before winning a case or before money. Children don't die of shaken baby syndrome all on their own, someone has to help them along with that. Lawyers need to start looking beyond being lawyers and remember, these are babies who are supposed to be protected bay adults, NOT killed by them.

Maybe some will think I am not being fair to the jury. TOUGH! What kind of jury sees the evidence, hears a confession and then finds a person NOT GUILTY of murdering a child they clearly murdered? IDIOTS, that's what kind of jury. As I said, I hope they don't find this coming back to haunt them.

Death occurred in the state of Oklahoma

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