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Here’s a look at the prison sentences handed down in some of Boulder County’s most infamous child-abuse cases:


16 years, criminally negligent child abuse

A jury in February convicted Midyette in the death of his son, 11-week-old Jason, who died in March 2006 taken after being taken to the hospital with more than 30 broken bones. Jurors said they couldn’t be sure who caused the fatal injuries, but Midyette should have sought medical help sooner.


16 years, child abuse resulting in death

A jury in December found Alex Midyette’s wife guilty of the more serious charge of child abuse resulting in death for not seeking medical help in time to save Jason’s life. She is eligible for parole after 12 years.



60 years, second-degree murder

A jury found Dowler guilty in February 2004 of killing his infant son, Tanner, who died in October 2002 after being hospitalized with 15 broken bones and second-degree burns on the bottoms of his feet.


10 years, child abuse and negligence

Joseph Dowler’s wife was sentenced in June 2003 after striking a plea deal for not getting help for her son. She served about three years before being released from prison.



12 years, sex assault on a child, child abuse

Ballard pleaded guilty in 1992 after prosecutors charged that he — along with his wife, Patricia, and friends Dennis and Marcia Dunann — sexually assaulted and tortured the Ballards’ seven children between 1987 and 1991.

He served nine years and was sentenced to an additional eight years after he was arrested again in 2005 for having contact with a child while on parole.

PATRICIA BALLARD, 6 years, freed in August 1998.

MARCIA DUNANN, 8 years, released in November 1999.

DENNIS DUNANN, 3 consecutive life sentences



10 years, felony child abuse resulting in death, third-degree assault

A jury convicted Arevalo on the above charges for beating to death his girlfriend’s 3-year-old son, Michael Manning, in 1982. Arevalo was acquitted of criminally negligent homicide.

ELIZABETH MANNING, 4 years, served 13 months

Source: Camera archives

Archived comments

Compared to the cases cited here, Alex Midyette received an extremely harsh sentence. For example, Danny Arevalo was convicted of beating a child to death, which is a substantially more serious crime than Midyette’s conviction for negligence resulting in death. Yet Midyette received 16 years and Arevalo received only 10. Could this be grounds for Midyette winning an appeal of his sentence?


5/16/2009 1:38:10 AM

BoulderReader and all–The horrific case of Arevalo and Manning’s murder of little Michael Manning was bungled because of the DA at that time as well as the police department.

Were I to guess, the reason that Arevalo’s / Manning’s convictions were so lenient relative to the details of this little boy’s torture is because of the mishandling of the case. Prosecutors could not convict on a more serious charge because the investigation and arrest had been so bungled.

Those who are interested might want to read the Daily Camera’s archives about little Michael Manning.


5/16/2009 5:18:43 AM

Damn, that mildly-retarded Jo Dowler must be PISSED!


5/16/2009 9:01:56 AM

16 years should have been 60 for Alex too, but he could afford the lawyer to help him get off relatively easy.Poor people don’t have that option.

For shame, America.


5/16/2009 10:01:07 AM

Patsy Ramsey, 0 years in prison, eternity someplace much hotter.


5/16/2009 10:18:40 AM

Hey Heath, weren’t Arevalo and Manning represented by Howard Bittman and Paul McCormick ?

Perhaps you should include the attorneys for each of the cases listed. There may be a correlation between the quality of legal representation and the sentence received.

And surely there have been far more child abuse cases in Boulder over the last 25 years than the 4 listed above.


5/17/2009 1:13:08 PM

Not only that, Heymom, but Jason Midyette had over THIRTY broken bones, the Fowler baby Tanner *only* (I use that word very lightly) had 15… y’all want to tell me that it was “negligent child abuse” versus “2nd degree murder”??? THAT is money @ it’s worst.


5/27/2009 3:20:42 PM

Alex got the worst deal of all these listed here and I believe it’s because of his attorney commenting at the end of the trial that he is developmentally disabled. He is currently doing time in Fort Lyons which is one of the worst prisons in Colorado. Anyone interested doesn’t have to look far to find out all about it. It is contaminated with asbestos and fecal matter in the water. The guards all bring their own bottled water in and make the prisoners drink the contaminated water. Anyone who does a year here will be dead from mesothelioma within 15 years. This prison needs to be shut down and my heart goes out to Alex and his family for him being sent here. He doesn’t deserve this.


6/19/2009 11:07:16 AM