Archive for Friday, January 13, 2006

Boyfriend pleads to 3-year-old’s killing

January 13, 2006


Days before he was scheduled to stand trial, a Lawrence man entered a plea Thursday to killing his girlfriend's 3-year-old daughter by shaking and beating her.

"(I) shook her," Jason W. Dillon said, when Judge Michael Malone asked to hear the factual basis for his plea.

Malone said he needed more details, and Dillon recited the language in the state's child-abuse law, saying he "cruelly beat and shook a child under the age of 18."

Dillon, 22, pleaded no contest to second-degree intentional murder and guilty to one count of child abuse for the June 2005 death of Sydni C. Perkins. He sobbed and held his head in his hands in court after entering the plea.

Under terms of the plea agreement, Dillon will be sentenced March 3 and faces roughly 16 years in prison: 165 months for murder, plus 34 months for child abuse.

Dist. Atty. Charles Branson said he was prepared to go to trial but reached the agreement at the request of victim Sydni Perkins' family members to spare them reliving the "horror" of the girl's death at trial and during a possible appeal.

"The state has had extensive conversations with the family of the victim," Branson told the judge. "It's the family's desire and wishes that this matter not proceed to trial."

Dillon, a former foster child and Lawrence High School track and field athlete, abused Sydni while baby-sitting her June 18 in the 1100 block of George Court.

Police testified Dillon admitted picking the girl up and shaking her at one point when she refused to help him pick up laundry, then striking her in the back of the head more than a dozen times after she told him she didn't want him to be her daddy anymore.

Dillon, who had been out all night drinking and using cocaine at a friend's birthday party in Kansas City, Kan., the night before, planned to use an intoxication defense at trial.

Sydni's mother, Rachel Perkins, attended the hearing but declined comment afterward. At a preliminary hearing, she testified that Sydni considered Dillon to be her dad.

- 6News reporter/anchor Janet Reid contributed information to this article.


hk45 12 years ago

The wishes of the family must be considered in the process because they are victims also.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 12 years ago

How did this guy get off easy? He pleaded guilty to what look like the appropriate charges for the crimes and will got to prison for the amount of time set out in the law for those crimes.

badger 12 years ago

They didn't just OK, it, they apparently asked for it.

I think plea bargaining has its place. It may be over-used, but there are times when it's not the heinous miscarriage of justice Judgement Jannie seems to object to.

He's going away for better than a decade. That's more than enough time to turn a life around if you so choose. Thirty years isn't enough time if you don't choose.

People can change. People do change. I know I've changed a lot in the last 16 years. If a decade and a half isn't long enough for him to make that change in his life, what guarantee do you have that 25 would be?

He's now a convicted felon, and that's no small deal whether he serves ten years or forty.

Kookamooka 12 years ago

Anyone else notice how many white men are killing people in Lawrence...especially people who they live with? I wonder what the sentiment would be if this many murders in a town occurred with a different ethnic group's men?

Todd 12 years ago

Most people in Lawrence are white. Hence, if most of any type of crime is committed by white folks then it's normal. ie if 80% of the crime comes from 80% of the population. On the other hand if 4% of the population starts committing 50% of the crime then people get worked up.

badger 12 years ago

Silence Dogood -


I know what the other two are, but what's SUV?

badger 12 years ago

I understand your position, TOB. Just to state it plainly, I am basing my opinion only on what I understood from the paper, which is that he beat and shook the little girl while babysitting her as an unpremeditated action based in either substance abuse, mental health issues, or loss of temper (or some combination of all three). All this changes if it was premeditated or if he did it out of malice, hate, or the simple desire to hurt a child on purpose.

Murder both is and isn't the ultimate crime. That's why there are degrees of it, to differentiate between, say, someone who goes out, stalks a 10-year-old, lures her into his car with candy, and then abuses and murders her and someone who gets angry at another driver and runs him into a bridge abutment. Premeditation and the intent to kill play a large part in the different degrees.

Both victims are dead, but different actions merit differing degrees of punishment. I don't believe he woke up that morning and decided to abuse and murder a little girl. There is a certain degree, for me at least, of belief that in time someone who commits even a heinous crime because he is angry or upset or not fully in control of his actions (which is not to say he's not responsible for them, just not in control of them - BIG DIFFERENCE), as opposed to because he specifically wanted to commit the heinous actions, can learn to manage that anger, control those emotions, understand his actions, and not be a danger any more. I just question the people who insist that he will get out of prison in a decade and a half and still be a danger to children. I don't think he's a serial offender.

I'm not advocating leniency because people say he's a nice guy or specifically because the family didn't want a trial. He needs to go to prison and spend some serious time there. 16 years is, to me, serious time. 16 years in prison won't bring her back. Neither will 25, or 40, or a needle in his arm at midnight. Nothing will.

Is the system about justice for the victims and their families, about warehousing criminals until they're too old to commit more crimes, or about vengeance? Justice for the victim mandates that he be punished for what he did. Justice for the family mandates that they be able to begin their healing process. In this case, the plea bargain may be the closest we'll see to both sides getting some justice.

redmorgan 12 years ago

I can't believe he's only serving 16 years-people who have drugs in their possession do more time! It's insane. I understand that the family's wishes to not have to be present during certain testimony from the defendant should be respected, but the guy should get life at the very minimum. What an injustice. This whole story has just broken my heart from the very beginning, as I have a child the same age as the little girl. I just can't imagine what kind of person would do that (intoxicated or otherwise) to a defenseless baby. God have mercy on his soul.

mztrendy 12 years ago

you know this man didn't hurt himself. He killed a 3 year old child. That didn't belong to him. Not that that matters. But he obviously agreed to help raise that innocent little girl if she considered him to be her dad. And he chose to hurt her and kill her, and he chose to do the cocaine and drink. Nobody made those decisions for him. I think he should get life in jail, or even the death penalty. He's a horrible person who should never be allowed to be a part of society any longer. He shouldn't ever get a second chance, because he messed up his first chance. The justice system is crap. Too bad they didn't catch him with drugs when the arrested him, maybe he'd have gotten 20 more.

Huckleberry 12 years ago

He should be shaken and beaten to death

bbb22 12 years ago


Apparently you are perfect and have never made a mistake, let alone learn from it. Obviously, we are talking about a much larger mistake than the average person makes, but nonetheless, it was a mistake. I agree with badger that Jason did not wake up that morning and say "I am going to kill her today." He made a mistake and he is paying for it, though it may not be want everyone wants, but that is how it goes sometimes. Once he is out, he will have to live with the fact that he was a convicted felon for the rest of his life.

Jeffrey Watts 12 years ago

Yes, mztrendy and redmorgan are right! We need to stop being so lenient on those evildoers! I think we should get our torches and pitchforks and go out and deal some frontier-style justice. We should also go hang those drug dealers and molesters too. Oh and those con artists that rip off old people. Don't forget the car thieves. And the rapists, oh yeah, the rapists. People that cheat on their taxes, I hate them too, string 'em up! GAY PEOPLE! SODOMITES! WEEEEEEEEEEEEED SMOOOOOOOKEEEEEEEEERS!

Next thing you know, they'll start hanging athiests, jews, mormons, blacks, mexicans, and any other non-white, non-evangelical, non-Republicans they can find. It's called a lynch mob folks. There's a reason "justice" doesn't have much in common with it.

Stop being idiots already. Yes, it's sad that the victim was a little girl. However, this guy is not some roving monster who is just itching to murder another baby. He's a dumbass on a bender who lost his temper and accidentally killed that girl. He's going to pay a harsh price for that mistake.

redmorgan 12 years ago

It's always amusing to read comments from people as irrational as you... where do you even come up with jews and mormons and gay people, etc??? I'm referring to a murderer- a CRIMINAL and the ridiculously short sentence he will be serving for taking the life of a child. Why don't you go shriek and pull your hair and take things out of context somewhere else? Not a roving monster??? Accidentally killed her? He struck her in the back of the head about a dozens time... what, did he think it would just leave a little bruise?

mom_of_three 12 years ago


He made a mistake?? The man wasn't arrested for shoplifting, speeding or even drugs. It might have been a mistake for him to hit her once, which is irreprehensible (??) itself, but numerous times, is not a mistake.
He committed a crime, not a mistake.
And no, 16 years doesn't seem like enough, but he will have the rest of his life to think about what he did. Too bad more of it won't be in a jail.

compmd 12 years ago

jannie: you said that the "family is spared but in the future there will most assuredly be another victim and another family if this man is allowed freedom at any point." From the article, it is stated that "He sobbed and held his head in his hands in court after entering the plea." Does this sound like a murderous psychopath that you are so willing to permanently remove from society? Remember who runs the prisons? The Department of Corrections. Corrections implies that there is an intent to "correct" inmates. You tell me you wouldn't have a lot to reflect on spending 16 years in a cell.

prospector: I think thats pretty funny. But be careful, you never know who on here might accuse you of inciting a mob.

Everyone who wants to kill this man for his crime (espcially by shaking and beating): Judge not lest ye be judged. Go ahead, mete out your "judgment." I'll be laughing watching your hypocritical butt on trial for premeditated murder.

Linda Endicott 12 years ago

At least this guy seems to be remorseful for what he's done. No, I don't think he intended to kill her. He was drunk, and while that's no excuse, you are not in total control of your actions, as Badger stated.

Doesn't make an excuse...but it's a reason. It also doesn't mean this man is going to be a danger to society when he gets out. He's not a serial killer, for heaven's sake. Hopefully, he will think about what he's done and work on correcting himself.

If you want something to really get worked up about, talk about the guy in Vermont who is only getting 60 days in jail for repeatedly raping a little girl over a four year period...the judge doesn't believe in punishment...

mztrendy 12 years ago

it may have been an accident i guess, but does that make it better? Striking a small child in the back of the head and accidentally killing her? that makes it better then him striking her in the back of the head meaning to kill her. You know I have a 3 year old, she never helps me put the laundry away but I sure as hell wouldn't hit her either. He probably was sad and crying. Maybe he's realized that for the next 16 years there won't be anymore alcohol and cocaine.

Kathleen Christian 12 years ago

You call this justice? This is nowhere near justice. That child no longer has 165 days of life in any form - yet this jerk gets only 165 days in jail plus. He admittedly killed an innocent child - he should get life if not the death penalty. No wander murders have sky rocketed - these criminals aren't intimidated. Most of them don't have jobs and contribute to society anyway - so jail is free room and board for them. They get out in later years and either continue their evils ways or live off someone else. It's disgusting.

coolmom 12 years ago

16 years of a prison sentence where other inmates will not be happy with what you did...feeling bad about what you did...having the drinking drug excuse in hand in case you go to trial....nope not enough. he took a life in a horribly brutal way there is no such thing as accident once he put his hands on her. i guess she was right in not wanting him to be her daddy. i just feel sick at the terror and pain she must have felt.

Ceallach 12 years ago

If I remember correctly, he was angry because she told him she didn't want him to be her daddy anymore! (Why would she say a thing like that!!) As both her dna and his actions prove, he was never her "Daddy." May she rest in peace.

Did they mention how many of her family members wanted this plea agreement? My money's on the mother -- he'll still be young enough to service her when he gets out -- and after all -- wasn't that the reason the child was endangered by him living with her and her mother in the first place?

badger 12 years ago

katybleu -

Months =/= days.

Reading comprehension, yes we loves it, yes we does.

Ceallach 12 years ago

Marion: The truth of that flaw became very real to me as a member of a jury for a medical malpractice suit. Plaintiff's legal team is not required to prove "beyond a reasonable doubt" that the doctor or hospital was negligent, and only 10 of the 12 jurors need to agree. I was heartsick when they were found responsible on very flimsy evidence. That was my first, and I hope last, experience with jury duty.

LawrenceMommy 12 years ago

Badger - Your 10:34 post was well-written and showed a lot of thought. It's obvious you didn't base your opinion on an emotional knee-jerk reaction.

No one wins in a case like this. No matter what sentence is handed down there is still a little girl the hands of the man she considered her father. 16 years or a lifetime won't change that.

I agree with some of the others that believe Jason is not going to be a danger to others when he is released. I am one of the few people who have been able to witness his feelings and emotions up close. He doesn't even know who I am and we have never met, but, through circumstances and fortune (I know that sounds like a strange word, but I am truly fortunate to have the perspective that I have as an objective and unknown-to-Jason bystander) I know the personal and private things he wrote to, and said to, people he is closest to and I believe I sincerely know what is in his heart. I know the exact words he has said to police, family, and friends, and I know that he has taken full responsibility for the death of Sydni since they took her to the hospital. I know that he hurt her and shouldn't have and that resulted in her death. But I also know that he never consciously set out to hurt her and he feels a tremendous amount of remorse for what he did. Not because he was caught, as many people will argue, but because he killed the little girl that he loved and he hurt her family.

Plea agreements have been discussed on several occasions up to this point and one of Jason's biggest concerns was what Sydni's mother would want him to do...what would be the easiest for her to handle. The only thing Jason absolutely did not want to do was to plead guilty to first degree murder because he never intended to kill Sydni.

I am not a member of the legal system, nor am I family, friends of any family, or any other close person to Jason. That's why I have had a unique perspective. And I certainly don't intend to make him appear to be a martyr. Jason commited a horrible crime. I know what he intends to do during the time he serves and I hope he leaves prison as a much better person than when he entered it. I believe he will and I believe he will end up being a productive and respectable member of society. I know he has already started down that road when he helped a guard save the life of a fellow inmate recently.

I won't be reading any replies to my post, in case anyone feels like arguing with (or just yelling at) me. I don't need to read anyone else's comments because I know far more facts than anyone else posting on here and my beliefs are firmly based on those facts.

I do hope that Sydni's family gets some healing from the resolution of the case and that Sydni will rest in peace. As I said, no one wins, but I hope everyone left behind will begin to heal.

Jeffrey Watts 12 years ago

Apparently English classes are worthless too.

sweetpeagj 12 years ago

I have to agree with the majority and say that Jason is serving the time that the family has agreed to, he has shown remorse for what he has done. I don't believe that the planned defense was in any way possible because we would have to release so many from our prisons if that was a valid arguement. I feel sad at the loss of another innocent child. Premeditated or all ended the same. it sounds to me that he was a child lost long ago by his family. That is no excuse by any means but it could come into play for the poor choices he has made before the murder of this little girl. If you feel you had done so much for Jason growing up why are you so angry? You are not coming across as a loving, caring person that wanted to help but just sit in judgement on him.

Jeffrey Watts 12 years ago

Yeah, you guys should go get some pitchforks and torches.

Ceallach 12 years ago

Did I miss the article where the mother of Sydni stopped defending Jason and separated herself from him emotionally?

My guess is that in 16 years she will be available, should he come calling! Him being such a kind hearted, misunderstood guy.

Ceallach 12 years ago

Maybe we can keep this thread going for sixteen years!!

Ceallach 12 years ago

Or maybe we should just say that it is OK for drug dependant slugs to kill children?

Whattaya think?



I think if someone has violent tendencies but restricts his victims to children or women he will always have a better chance in the court system.

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