Tanner Albert Jurisch
April 15, 2005 - January 18, 2007
Find A Grave Memorial
Born on April 15, 2005 to Ashley Egbert and Eric Jurisch, Tanner came into the world as a twin brother to Trent and a younger brother to Izaak. At a very young age, five weeks old, all three boys were taken away from their mother and placed in foster homes. The boys remained in foster homes until in either the month of July or August of that year when they were returned to their mother who was, by then, living with a man named Matthew Porter who seemed to be a nice guy and was liked by the entire family.

Saying good bye to a loved one who has passed away is never easier. Harder still, is saying good bye to a child who never had a chance to live the life they were meant to live because they died at the hands of those who should have been there to protect and love them. An autopsy report shows that Tanner Jurisch died due to acute subdural hemorrhaging and acute subarachnoid hemorrhaging. Tanner was only 18 months old and died by what is more commonly known as "shaken baby syndrome".

On January 17, 2007 Jessica Egbert returned a call to her sisters boyfriend, not knowing it would forever change her life. Matthew Porter had called to tell her that Tanner was not breathing properly. When she arrived at the home she told him to call an ambulance. At that time, she had no idea what had caused this condition in her nephew. 

Tanner has a twin brother named Trent and another brother named Izaak and both of them were there during this time. Jessica talked to Tanner while waiting for the ambulance to get there. Matthew went in the ambulance with Tanner and Jessica stayed with her nephews. How could she have known that the man she had trusted was taking good care of her nephews, was the cause of the injuries that Tanner had suffered?

The police told Jessica they were going to take the two remaining boys and she tried to get a hold her sister and ended up talking to the police instead. She was told at that time that her nephew was in surgery with a cracked skull.

At the hospital, Jessica joined her family and tried to tell them something was wrong because her nephew Izaak didn't want to go home with Matthew. When Jessica joined her sister, mother and aunt she learned that Tanner's chances at living were very slim and even if he did live, he would be brain dead. 

On January 18, 2007 Tanner became an Angel. Tanner is now another victim of the many cases of abuse related deaths in children. Matthew Porter, who had originally been arrested for aggravated then charged with second
degree murder. Matthew was able to meet a $20,000. bond in August of 2008. In November of 2008, Matthew was out on bond and under house arrest when he was re-arrested for failing to appear in court on two different occasions. Police found him at home resting on his couch. He had told his attorney that he was sick.

Prosecutors feel that Matthew Porter is a flight risk and that he should never have been able to bond out. Matthew Porter will go to trial in January of 2009. We can only hope that he will face the rest of his life in prison for what he has done to Tanner and to his brother Izaak.

Tanner's brothers were once again placed in foster homes and it was later discovered that Izaak had bruising to his skull from being punched in the back of his head. As well as the skull bruising, he had cigarette burns on his neck.

No charges were filed against Ashley Agbert who was not home at the time of the abuse. Ashley is currently fighting to regain custody of her two remaining children who, at this time, live with their biological father.

Updates:

January 2, 2009:

Matthew Porter pled guilty to first degree manslaughter though he claimed that it was an accident because he was trying to get Tanner out of the way as he was trying to discipline one of his siblings. Matthew Porter is facing life in prison and will be sentenced at the end of January 2009. I can only hope and pray that he will never be free to harm another child.

February 2, 2009:

Newspapers reported that Judge Merton Tice took himself off of the case of Matther Potter. He didn't give an explanation as for why.

A new judge took over the case and Matthew was given the choice to withdraw his guilty plea, he asked for time to think about it.

February 23, 2009:

Matthew Potter entered a plea of guilty, to first degree manslaughter. The new judge in his case, Jeff Davis accepted his plea and will sentence him on March 24, 2009.

UPDATE:

Rapid City man sentenced to 30 years for killing toddler

By Journal staff

Seventh Circuit Judge Jeff Davis sentenced Matthew Potter of Rapid City to 30 years in prison for the death of 21-month-old Tanner Jurisch.

Tanner Jurisch died more than two years ago from brain injuries.

Potter, 21, pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter in January, admitting he tossed the toddler towards his crib but missed as he went to discipline Tanner's twin brother, Trent, and an older brother, Izaak.

Potter was originally charged with second-degree murder.

Addressing Potter and the packed courtroom, Davis said he had no quarrel with the plea agreement, because it "lets the healing process start."

Potter will be eligible for parole in 15 years.

THAT will teach him! <~~Added by the site creator with a TON of sarcasm intended!

My appreciation goes out to Jessica for providing me with information to use in telling Tanner's story. My heart goes out to her and her family and to all of the families and children of the world who go through so much when abuse takes place.

UPDATE: August 22, 2010

I received an e-mail from Sarah, stepmother (though I don't like to use the word step) to Tanner:

Hi, I am Trent Jurisch an Izaak Egberts step-mother Sarah. I thought I would write you and give you and update on the boys and their situation. Their father Eric Jurisch has sole custody of the two remaining boys, Izaak and Trent. Their mother Ashley Egbert lost all parental rights to her remaining children, she was too incompetent to care and keep her children safe. We have had the boys living in our home for 3 1/2 years and Trent starts school this year. His progress in learning has slowed down a lot since Tanner was taken away from him almost 4 years ago. They love to talk about Tanner and go see him at his grave site. Tanner would of been a big brother to his new little sister leigha in March of this year. I want to thank you for remembering Tanner and letting the world know his story. If you have any questions for me or anything else feel free to write me back.

Thank you,
Sarah

Death Occurred in the state of South Dakota

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