Seymour man sentenced in fiancée’s death


A Seymour man who pleaded guilty in August to the 2018 death of his fiancée received a 24-year sentence Thursday morning.

Brian M. Cogdill, 45, received that sentence in Jackson Circuit Court on a Level 2 felony charge of voluntary manslaughter from Special Judge Stephen R. Heimann in the death of Emma Jean Jamison, 19, of Seymour.

The negotiated plea agreement, reached Aug. 2, included 14 years in the Indiana Department of Correction with 10 of the total 24 years suspended. Cogdill also will serve five years of probation following the sentence.

The agreement also requires Cogdill to register as a violent offender and pay court costs, probation fees and a $50 domestic violence prevention and treatment fee. He also waives his right to appeal the sentence.

Cogdill, who had previously been held on murder charges, faced a maximum sentence of 30 years.

Police said Cogdill beat Jamison to death Sept. 6, 2018, at the residence they shared at 6556 N. County Road 760E near the East Fork White River south of the Indiana American Water Co.

Heimann did not say much during his sentencing but only shared that he accepted the plea agreement.

A hearing was conducted prior to the sentencing where a pre-sentence investigation was shared in court.

Cogdill, who appeared in an inmate’s jumpsuit with shackles on his wrists and ankles, acknowledged he killed Jamison in sudden heat and apologized to her family, who attended the hearing.

"I’m sorry for how things turned out. I really am," he said, which was followed by brief outbursts in court from a family member.

Jamison’s sister, Erin Bradshaw, read a victim impact statement, and Jamison’s mother had a staff member from the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office read her statement.

Bradshaw told the court her sister was more than a case file number or an article written in the newspaper. She then listed how Jamison was a daughter, sister, cousin and more before sharing her favorite color, purple, and the hobbies her sister enjoyed doing, like going to church and garage sales.

"My sister was a person with hopes, dreams and feelings," she said emotionally. "She was young and full of life, and she had so much ahead of her. … She deserved better than she was given."

Jamison had dreams of being a storm chaser and enjoyed viewing them when one would stir up.

Jamison’s mother, Shelley, described her daughter as a loving and caring person who loved animals and keeping pets. She said Cogdill took that away from her and her family and that she would never forgive him.

Cogdill’s daughter, Whitney, also read a victim impact statement, where she shared the tale of the two wolves where one was good and one was evil. She said her father would share the lesson with her when she was young and that she knew which one he was now.

Whitney told the court she has felt the pain and suffering caused by her father over the last 26 years. There were times where she saw her father become violent and threaten others, including herself, she said.

"He is diabolical, evil and he has caused so much pain for so many people," she said.

Whitney then described Jamison as a "lovely girl" whose future was stolen by her father.

"He has damaged his own daughters and Emma’s family for his actions," she said. "Emma has had to pay the ultimate price."

Brian Cogdill gave an inaccurate statement in the case’s pre-sentencing investigation report, which he agreed to amend at the hearing. He told the court that he provided an inaccurate statement because he was having trouble coming to terms with what he did.

Cogdill was represented by North Vernon Attorney William Dillon. Jackson County Prosecutor Jeff Chalfant and Deputy Prosecutor Mark Hollingsworth represented the state.

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