2018 Death Of Baby Results In Former Fond du Lac Mom Found Guilty

Fond du Lac County District Attorney Eric J. Toney announced Thursday that the mother of a then 2 1/2 month old baby, has been found guilty of First Degree Reckless Homicide in the death of the infant.

Judge Dale English handed down the decision. Shauntina R.
Fuller-Pankey, formerly of Fond du Lac, entered an Alford plea at today’s hearing. She now faces faces up to 40 years of initial prison confinement and 25 years of extended supervision. The sentencing hearing will be in 2022 and a pre-sentence investigation report has been ordered by the court.

The conviction stems from an early morning 911 call for an ambulance on June 25, 2018. The father of the infant had made the call after hearing the child give out a cry that didn’t sound normal, and then observed the infant struggling to breathe.

In a statement issued late Thursday afternoon, District Attorney Toney said “This is a tragic reminder of how precious life is as we gather with family to celebrate Christmas. It has been one of the most challenging cases during my nine years as District Attorney as we sought to obtain justice for a 2 ½ month baby that was killed by her mother.”

Toney also said “the State faced significant challenges in proving this case because one of the lead investigators, a former City of
Fond du Lac Police Department Detective, has significant Brady/Giglio issues leading the State to refuse to prosecute any future cases involving this former Detective.”

The former detective’s issues led to in camera inspections by our courts and a special master being appointed to review his personal records and documents related to the criminal referral for his actions while he was a police officer.

As the result, the Courts have ordered the disclosure of significant
Brady/Giglio materials that had a direct impact on this prosecution to include:
1) Circumstances of the criminal referral related to mishandling of evidence and improper use of the TIME System,
2) Racial Bias,
3) Misogynistic content,
4) Mishandling of evidence,
5) Failure to turn over evidence/discovery directly related to this case, and
6) Other issues and circumstances related to the credibility of this former detective.

District Attorney Toney continued “Despite the Brady/Giglio issues of one former investigator, the City of Fond du Lac Police Department and their investigators worked tirelessly for years in an effort to obtain justice for this this little girl and I’m proud of their work and the prosecution team’s effort, which all helped secure this conviction and some measure of justice for our 2 ½ month old victim that would
have been 3 years old.”

Fond du Lac Police Chief Aaron Goldstein said “Our criminal justice system is built on trust and our Police Officers are key piece of that system. Our community deserves the highest standards of integrity
and trustworthiness from the officers that serve them and the Fond du Lac Police Department views the public’s trust as sacred. Our department is committed to upholding that trust along with our core values to build and maintain trust in our community through a culture of understanding, caring, compassion, and professionalism. I am grateful that the District Attorney’s Office was able to provide accountability for this crime and justice for our 2 ½ month old baby that was killed by her mother.”

As part of the agreement Count 2 Child Abuse Causing Great Bodily Harm and Count 3 Resisting/Obstructing an Officer were dismissed and read-in as part of the agreement.

The case was prosecuted by District Attorney Eric Toney and Assistant District Attorney Kristin Menzl