Commonwealth Journal

April 4, 2013

Grand Jury indicts Jaden Jasper’s father

Jimmy Jasper alleged to be intoxicated when involved in horrific wreck

by Heather Tomlinson
Commonwealth Journal

Somerset —  

A Pulaski County father has been indicted in connection with an early March car crash that left him and his daughter seriously injured. 
A Pulaski County Grand Jury on Tuesday indicted James “Jimmy” F. Jasper, 56, of Grant Drive, Somerset, on one charge of first-degree assault “by operating his vehicle in such a manner, thereby causing serious physical injury upon J.B.J. and under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life.” 
Jimmy Jasper and his 12-year-old daughter, Jaden Brooke Jasper, were hurt on March 5 when the SUV Jimmy Jasper was operating hit a fence line along Pumphouse Road. The wooden planks from the fence penetrated the vehicle’s interior, striking both Jaden and Jimmy Jasper and causing serious injuries.
Lt. Shannon Smith, with the Somerset Police Department, stated that investigators carried out a warrant soon after Jimmy Jasper was transported to the hospital for treatment and drew a sample of his blood to be tested for alcohol and drug content at the Kentucky State Police Lab.
Smith said results were just returned on Monday, and he said the results confirm that Jimmy Jasper’s blood alcohol was over the legal limit of .08 when the accident happened. 
“If it had been just an accident and he (Jimmy Jasper) ran off the road without negligence or any form of intent, he wouldn’t be facing charges,” said Smith.
Jimmy Jasper suffered a number of injuries, including a broken collarbone, broken clavicle, broken ribs, broken vertebrates, broken wrist, collapsed aorta, and a skull fracture. He was discharged from the University of Kentucky Medical Center, where he and Jaden were both transported the night of March 5, after several days there. 
Jaden Jasper’s situation was much more dire. The Northern Middle School student suffered a depressed skull fracture, a broken eye socket, and a broken cheekbone. Doctors warned her family she may never be the same again, and she remained sedated for several days while medical experts debated what to do. 
But on March 15, doctors were surprised to find, during reconstructive surgery, that Jaden hadn’t sustained significant brain injury in the accident. They said she would eventually be just fine. 
By that point, Jaden had woken up, and she soon made leaps and bounds in her recovery. Jaden Jasper’s family have reported the young girl may be able to return home by the end of this week to continue her recovery. 
Smith said SPD’s investigation depended solely on when the blood test results would be returned from the KSP lab.
“We’re pretty much at their mercy,” said Smith. “We were in our place in line just like hundreds of other police agencies in the state.”
Smith said the results came back “just in time” for the April meeting of the Pulaski County Grand Jury, and he said a charge would not have been handed down before those results were returned.
“We don’t want to charge him with any offense until we have the evidence to support that charge,” said Smith. “Obviously, he (Jasper) was injured. There was no way we could put him through a field sobriety test to determine his impairment.”
Although bond is set in the indictment at $50,000, Smith said Jimmy Jasper had not yet been arrested. As of Wednesday afternoon, Smith said the warrant had not yet been authorized by a judge. 
Court documents accessed Wednesday by the Commonwealth Journal reveal that Jimmy Jasper was arrested for alcohol intoxication in a public place in June of 2012. According to the SPD complaint, Jasper appeared to be intoxicated while at SomerSplash Waterpark. The complaint stated that Jimmy Jasper failed a field sobriety test, and that Jimmy Jasper “ ... admitted to consuming alcohol and taking pain pills and muscle relaxants.
“The subject (Jimmy Jasper) was extremely unstable on his feet,” stated the complaint. 
The complaint also alleged that Jimmy Jasper was with his 12-year-old daughter and one of her friends.
“Subject was a danger to himself and others if left to his own vices,” stated the complaint. 
The case was later dismissed after Jimmy Jasper entered into a pre-trial diversion. 
An indictment is an accusation only, and defendants are assumed not guilty until proven otherwise in a court of law.