A Jordan man accused of murdering his 18-month-old foster child is asking a judge to reconsider his guilty plea, stating he was "badly misrepresented" by his attorneys.
Jason Robert Betlach, 32, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder without intent in Scott County District Court Feb. 7, admitting to shaking the crying child until they were unresponsive. Judge Rex Stacey delayed his decision on whether to accept the plea bargain and ordered a pre-sentence investigation.
Weeks later, Beltach sent a letter to Stacey, dated Feb. 25, asking him to reconsider the guilty plea.
"I have come to the conclusion that I have been misrepresented," Beltach wrote. "I was told, basically forced to take the first deal I was offered ... I am requesting for you to take back my plea your Honor, I have been badly misrepresented."
Betlach's sentencing is scheduled for April 3. If the plea bargain is accepted, Betlach would be dismissed of three additional counts of murder. Those charges are:
- First-degree murder while committing child abuse with a past pattern of child abuse.
- First-degree murder while committing domestic abuse with a past pattern of domestic abuse.
- Second-degree murder with intent (not premeditated).