Juliette Serenity Geurts
November 2, 2005 - July 11, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial

Casey Geurts and Charyse were married in 2006 a year after their daughters were born, in December of 2007, they separated and seven months later Juliette would die. Juliette's family was told that she had suffered from medical trouble, that was a lie. Juliette had been taken to the hospital the day before she died, after suffering a Febrile Seizure, which is a type of seizure that infants and children can suffer from if they have a high fever. Charyse brought her home and within only eight hours, she claimed to have found Juliette dead in her crib. In the home when she died were three adults, Casey Chauncey, Charyse Geurts and Brandon Townsend all three adults who lived there.

Juliette's biological father had been away with the Military with plans to make a life for himself as well as his daughters.


Brandon Townsend said:

"I was, I was pretty drunk that night. I seen something that I only thought was like,
you know possible in horror movies. When I peeked in, it looked like, you know, Juliette
was still sleeping. I really couldn't believe my eyes when I seen her laying there. I walked
over to her, I dropped to my knees, and I went to pick her up. And uh, she, it just, it wasn't
her any more.
Whatever happened, I unfortunately did not wake up to see or hear anything.
I really wish I would have, cause I would have stopped it.
"



Brandon was not considered a suspect and in fact was NOW a witness and has said this about Dustin and what he feels happened on that night:

"I honestly believe that he did get drink, and I believe that he did go in that room when I was
sleeping and I believe he did hit her and beat her to make her shut up because she was in pain
or having a fit and he was drunk, he was trying to get laid"


The Police were not releasing any information and Brandon said that they needed to start doing their job. People were very frustrated that no one had been arrested and it seemed someone had gotten away with murder:

"Yeah, it bothers me, it has an impact on me. It should bother everyone in our community
and everybody in the state of Nebraska that we haven't resolved this"
State Senator - John Harms



John sincerely hoped that Juliette's family would be able to find justice for her:

"This little girl never got to go to grade school, she never got to graduate from Jr. High.
and she never got to compete in basketball or plays or go to the prom, graduate and
go to college and be a mother, raise her family and be a contributing member. That's
what irritates me. This child's life was taken. What happened here? I mean how could
you have three in a home and not make that arrest? How can you have three in a home
where this child was murdered? What broke down in this process? It makes me feel
bad for the community. In some cases, I have a feeling of the fact that maybe we're
a little in adequate. Did we do all the right things"

According to reports, people wanted to know what was going on with the Police Department because a protocol containing 36 pages was in place for dealing with the death of a child and they were said to have no knowledge of what it was. The home was not secured after Juliette's death and her twin sister was left in the home. It seemed that no one was allowed to see the case file because it was still listed as an active case. Juliette's family was upset saying that nothing was being done but they know eventually, somewhere, even if it's in front of a Higher Power, justice would be taken out on those who were responsible for the death of this little Angel.

       

Charyse was lucky and in the year 2013, her charges were dismissed because the statute of limitations ran out. She basically got away with her part in the death of this child. I hope she had the other one taken away forever.

In the year 2014, six years after this precious little Angel girl was brutally beaten and ended up dying as a result of that beating, the people who are said to be responsible for her death, were FINALLY going to be held accountable. Dustin Chauncey, who was 26 years old by this time, was already in prison serving a four year sentence on firearm and drug charges, when he was charged with child abuse resulting in death and involuntary manslaughter. Charyse Geurts was charged with being an accessory to a felony and providing Police with information that turned out to be false. It would be easy to serve Dustin, since he was in prison at the time, Charyse was said to be living in Wisconsin, though Sheriff Mark Overman said he did not think there would be any problem serving the warrant. Dustin received a bond of $500,000., though he would only need 10% to bond out. It was not clear to me if he even COULD bond out since he was serving a sentence. Charyse was given a bond of  $50,000. and would also only 10% to bond out.

In April of 2014, Dustin was indicted on three charges, though in the end he would only be charged with on and that would be child abuse resulting in death, which is a Class IB felony. Todd Lancaster tried to get that last charge dismissed saying that the Grand Jury's finding probably cause had not been supported by the records in the case. Judge Leo Dobrovolny didn't agree and said that probably caused existed and that the evidence was enough to go forward with the trial:

"Exhibit one shows that a crime was committed and probable cause that Dustin Chauncey
committed the crimes of manslaughter and child abuse"

In July of 2014, Dustin's Lawyer, Todd Lancaster was in court arguing that the fact that the three adults in the home had been drinking and smoking Marijuana, had nothing to do with the case and would not be relevant to the case. Special Prosecutor Jim Zimmerman did not agree and stated that the a Doctor in the Emergency Room had noticed that Dustin had been drunk when Juliette was brought in:

"We think it is highly relevant. It is not offered to show bad acts committed by the defendant, but
to show the circumstances and the state of the mind of Chauncey and the witnesses"

There were also arguments on the table because Todd was trying to keep evidence that Dustin's DNA was found on Juliette's clothing in the form of sperm. Todd didn't want the jurors to think that Juliette had been sexually attacked by Dustin when in fact he had only had sex with Charyse and the DNA was transferred when he touched Juliette after that. Todd said that DNA evidence from skin cells could be brought up and be less prejudicial. Prosecutor Doug Warner said that the DNA evidence would show "close quarters" and that it would help establish a time line of events leading up to Juliette's death and show that the contact had taken place before Juliette was found dead. Judge Leo Dobrovolny was going to wait to hear from an expert in DNA testing and he said that unless it could be proven that the DNA evidence was relevant, it would most likely not be admitted at trial.

It seems that Todd wanted to keep any information out of the trail that would make his client look bad because he also wanted to suppress evidence that Dustin had thought he had a warrant out for his arrest and may have asked the other people in the home to lie and say he was not there, when he really was. While there was not a ruling on these issues at that time, there was a ruling that a support group called "Justice For Juliette" would not be able to wear anything such as t-shirts, buttons or anything else of that nature near the doors to the courthouse or inside of the courthouse. A trial date was set for August 11, 2014, however, the Nebraska Commission On Public Advocacy asked for a delay in the trial due to Todd Lancaster having a death in his family. A new trial date was set for October 27, 2014 through October 31. 2014.





OBITUARY:


Juliette S. Geurts, 2, daughter of Casey and Charyse (Vardeman) Geurts died Friday, July 11, 2008, at her home in Gering.

Her funeral service will be at 2 p.m., Thursday, July 17, at the Seventh Day Adventist Church in Scottsbluff, with Pastor Ken Magdelano officiating. Interment will follow at Sunset Memorial Park.

Visitation will be Wednesday, from 1 to 8 p.m., at Dugan Kramer Funeral Chapel.

A memorial fund in memory of Juliette can be made to the family. Tributes of sympathy may be left at www.dugankramer.com.

Juliette was born Nov. 2, 2005, along twin sister, Jaelyn, in Scottsbluff.

Our precious princess is survived by her parents, Casey and Charyse, and her twin sister, Jaelyn; maternal grandparents, Lynn and Gregg Baum and Bobby and Colette Vardeman; maternal great-grandmother, Angeline Cleary, and great-grandparents, Bob and Trudy Vardeman; maternal great-great-grandmother, Delma Vardeman; paternal grandparents, Paul and Mary Jo Geurts, and great-grandmother, Ruth Geurts; uncles and aunts, Steve and Laurie Geurts, Gary and Marzena Geurts, Paul and Krista Geurts, Monica and Andy Hall, Cathy and Terry Williams, Rita and Kevin Steffenson, Elizabeth and Joe Schulte, Brandon and Charlene Vardeman, Trevor Vardeman and Danyel and Jason Casson; second cousins, Winter and Jadin Keller; and numerous extended family.

UPDATE - October 28, 2014:

In October of 2014, Judge Leo Dobrovolny postponed the trial of Dustin Chauncey, who was 18 years old by that time. A theory was offered before the postponement that Brandon Townsend was responsible for the death of Juliette when Juliette's sister allegedly told her grandmother that Brandon was the one who killed her sister.

The trial was postponed until January 5, 2015 in order to give the state time to add a new witness to their list.

UPDATE: March 5, 2014



On February 26, 2015 the family of Juliette would finally get the justice they had been waiting for, they hugged, shouted and cried as they left the courtroom after a long, 6 1/2 years waiting for justice. Family members had not given up with their efforts to get justice for this little Angel, they started a Facebook page, kept on law enforcement, Attorneys and they started and circulated a petition to get their case in front of the Grand Jury.

It took a long time, however, a Grand Jury indicted Dustin Chauncey who was brought to trial on a charge of intentional child abuse that resulted in death, which is a class B felony. Judge Leo Dobrovolny announced in court that Dustin had been found guilty of the charged causing Dustin to remove his glasses, wipe his eyes and cover his forehead with is hand:

"It was a little surreal"
Elizabeth Schulte

While they had been told by the Judge to not show any emotion when the verdict was read in court, the family didn't hold back once they got outside of the courthouse. Elizabeth said that the family could start the mourning process now that justice had been served:

"I think it will be a lot of tears. A lot of mixed emotions. I don't think we
were able to really grieve. We have been fighting so hard. We will finally
be able to grieve. We hope that family ties can come together again. We
hope we can begin healing together. Our family has gone through so much"
Elizabeth



"I've waited seven years for this. I finally got justice for my granddaughter"
Grandmother

Reports say that Casey and Charyse moved away in the middle of the night because Charyse found out that she was going to be subpoenaed to testify in the court hearing. It seems to me like she would want to do everything she could in order to make sure that the person responsible for her daughters death didn't get away with it. Apparently, she had been granted immunity from prosecution. A Lawyer for Charyse said that she was only trying to make a new life for herself and her daughter, a search warrant was obtained in order for Charyse to be tracked down. Prosecutor Jim Zimmerman had this to say:

"Did we need her? There are a couple of things that I could have used her
fro. Right now, I am so happy for his family that they got the justice they
wanted and little Juliette got justice"

Jim Zimmerman was thankful to Lawyer Doug Warner, law enforcement and Investigators for their work on the case and Juliette's family was thankful for all of them.

Dustin's sentencing hearing was set for April 10, 2015 at 8:30 a.m. and he was facing 20 years to life.

Inside Edition had interviewed Monica Hall about the death of her niece:

Monica: Juliette didn't beat herself to death. Somebody murdered her.
Inside Edition: Do you think the adults in the home know what happened?
Monica: They definitely know what happened. There's no doubt in my mind.

Charyse had told Inside Edition that she believed Dustin had beat her daughter to death though he denied it:

"No, I didn't and you guys can speak to my Lawyer because I'm done.
No comment"
Dustin Chauncey

Charyse wasn't about to testify against the man she claimed had brutally beaten her daughter to death and it's not clear to me why she wouldn't want to put him away for life, it seems to me as though she has something to hide. A subpoena force her into court, however, when she took the stand, she refused to say anything and the Judge found her in contempt and ordered her to serve three days in jail. Inside Edition was there when she was released:

"How do you feel about Dustin being convicted? As a mother, why wouldn't you want
to testify against the man you told me killed your daughter"
Lisa Guerrero

Charyse had nothing to say and kept quiet while the questions were asked before finally saying:

"I'm gonna ask you to please leave me alone"

Juliette's family thanked Inside Edition saying their coverage of this case had helped justice to be served.

Facebook accounts indicate that Casey and Charyse are still together and they have since had two more children, a boy and a girl. I am unable to understand how a man could stay with a woman who probably contributed to the death of one of his children and then REFUSED to testify to have the man she SAID killed one of her own children. On the day I was sent the information about their Facebook pages, I was able to access a page that belonged to Charyse, though she spelled her name very differently than the way it is supposed to be spelled. Her "new" name on Facebook was posted on the Facebook page "Justice For Juliette" found here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Justice-for-Juliette/163622797027340. It's sad that Charyse would not stand up for Juliette by testifying against the man she said she KNEW killed her. It worries me for the children she is now taking care of.

I noticed that on their Facebook pages there is a lot of information about a Church, that hopefully, they both attend and live by, however, judging by the fact that Charyse was willing to leave her three children and Casey behind for THREE days to avoid testifying against someone she swears KILLED one of her children, I am going to assume that SHE does not live by anything other than what SHE wants. Sadly, I see no pictures and no mention of Juliette at all, it's as though they have forgotten she ever existed.

My opinion of her has stayed the same, it not gotten worse, she doesn't deserve to have ANY children in her care.

Death occurred in the state of Nebraska
This page was created on August 18, 2014

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