Koester did grant a defense motion to let Niemerg stay home for two weeks so she can see her doctor and prepare her children, ages 7 and 3, for her extended absence. The judge ordered Niemerg to appear at the Effingham County Sheriff’s Department at 9 a.m. June 20 for transport to a Department of Corrections facility.
Niemerg was sentenced despite a tearful allocution statement in which she apologized to the victim’s family, as well as her own.
“I am so sorry, and I know no apology is going to help,” she said. “To my family, I am sorry I put you through this.”
But Niemerg said sending her to prison was not the answer.
“Sending me to prison will not help them (the Dill family),” she said. “I am pregnant with my third baby, and I don’t want to be pregnant in a prison.”
Earlier Friday, Nathan’s mother Laura expressed her desire that Niemerg be sent to prison for “a very long time.”
“Even 10 years is short,” Mrs. Dill said.
The victim’s mother delivered a lengthy victim impact statement in which she outlined the care that Nathan will likely need for the rest of his life, as well the negative impact on herself, husband Donnie and her two older children.
“The doctors have said Nathan will have no quality of life, solely based on what she (Niemerg) did,” she said.
Mrs. Dill said Niemerg made a conscious decision to endanger her child.
“This was Kelci’s choice,” she said. “She didn’t have the right to make that choice.”
But defense attorney Bill Milner called a succession of character witnesses, mostly relatives and in-laws, who extolled the virtues of Niemerg as a mother and caregiver. Several of those 15 character witnesses said they would gladly entrust Niemerg with the care of their own children.