Here is part 2 of our interview with Tiffini Springer. As stated before, we at The CCFHV are NOT taking sides on this issue between either Tiffini or J.C.
Our loyalty, as ALWAYS, is to Dalton Springer, the TRUE victim in this case....
Kim: Were you a truck driver before you met him?
Tiffini: Ya. Before I met him and when we first got together I drove for a while. I lived with my parents at the time and did one round- I left here on Sunday. Be back by Tuesday night-early Wednesday morning at the latest, you know. Back and forth to Chicago and it's really not that far. I quit driving the whole time we were together.
Belinda: What brought everything to you? Did you go to them or they come to you?
Tiffini: No. Bob Herron showed up at my ------ house, you know, personally, and subpoenaed me and told me he says "You can go to the grand jury. You can talk to me, you know, in my office." I was torn apart and devastated and I called my dad and he was on the road and he said "Do not go to his office. If you go anywhere, you go to the grand jury."
Belinda: Now did you go and did J.C. go, too?
Tiffini: He was never subpoenaed to the grand jury.
Tiffini: I have no clue.
Belinda: What did they ask you?
Tiffini: They asked me you know, questions on there that has to do with, you know, where were you at- what time were you there? You know, detailed things at the time. And these guys never could-even the investigators from Saint Clair Township-they were at the meeting I was at-and they couldn't understand why I could remember dates, times, specifics. I drove truck. That was part of the stuff I had to know. Specific things. And you know, he would ask, Herron would ask me a question repeatedly. The same type of questions but different aspects. They asked me questions like "What was he wearing?" "What did J.C. have on?" "What did Dalton have on?" "What did you do when you found Dalton in the bedroom?" You know. "Did you notice any marks on the carpet?" I didn't look for those things. I was trying to figure out why he wasn't responsive to me. And that's what I told the ambulance when they came. They wanted to know why I took off. And I said I didn't take off. I was still in pajamas. I was literally still in my nightgown you know, covered in Dalton's puke and I never changed, you know, and they came and took him out of the house and that's when Gale looked at me and said "you're gonna need different clothes on." And I went and changed.
Belinda: Obviously, it never went to trial. The Grand Jury must have felt there was not enough evidence to take it to trial. My question is why didn't they ever question J.C. before the Grand Jury?
Tiffini: I don't know. See, J.C. always told me was that um, "If you ever divorced me, you'll be sorry and I said "What do you mean I'll be sorry?" And he said "Cause you'll go to jail." And I said "Why would I go to jail? I didn't do nothing. Why would I go to jail for divorcing you?" Of course, we did get divorced and nothing happened. I have no clue what he was meaning when he said that. Up to the time I married him and he moved into my house, my kids were never hurt. Ear aches. Ear infections. Colds. Maybe. After that, Dalton had a broken shoulder. Um, his duadnum was punctured- I mean the doctor couldn't say if it was child abuse or not because they saw it in older kids from riding bikes. You know, handle bars. He rode a tricycle, well a big wheel and where my parents live there is kind of a down grade and he'd start at the top of the hill and see how fast he could go. It's a kid thing, you know. And just prior to that, my nephews first birthday they had a pinata and he got hit with the stick. I didn't pay much attention to it. He said owe and went on and played, you know. He didn't stop even long enough to feel the pain. Well when he started puking, he puked for three days and he couldn't keep anything down. I talked to the doctor and they kept telling me to give him pedia lite you know. Just keep his fluids up. It was probably a virus. I took him to Liverpool Hospital and they couldn't find anything wrong. They says "Well we don't see anything."
Well I took him to the Beaver Medical Center. I went down to Liverpool and got all his x-rays and took them with me to the medical center. They didn't really say punctured duadnum, but it was um, small intestines or his small bowels were telescope is what they told me. They sent him to Children's Hospital in Pittsburgh by ambulance. I rode with him and all he did was complain because I wasn't back there with him. They kept him up there for, it was about a month. He was on heavy morphine there for a while but then he started to come back. And after he got home, you know, he went to stay with my sister and my brother-in-law because Children's Services said it would be best to do that and we had to go to different counseling and they had to have, you know, every once in a while, when the kids were at home, just like pop up visits. And um, after that Dalton was constantly saying every time he'd point to the scar right above his belly button and you know say "Daddy Boo! Boo!" I didn't think nothing about it, you know. Now, after starting to think back about it, you just wonder if that's not, you know, his way of saying he did this. But I didn't know because he didn't really talk. You had to really understand him to potentially understand what he was talking about so--
Kim: Why did they take the stone off of his grave?
Tiffini: That, you'd have to speak to my mother and my dad about.
Kim: You didn't have any say at all?
Tiffini: I had nothing to do with it. I was in jail at the time. Um, I have no idea.
Belinda: I completely understand you wanting to have your own for him, I do. I think it would have been better to have something there until you replaced it with your own. We talked to the people at the cemetery when we went to put the flowers and teddy bear on Dalton's grave. They said, I think it was your mom and dad showed up with a lawyer to the cemetery and made them remove the stone. I understand if it was from J.C., but it was from his family.
Kim: That's the step grand parents. Why couldn't they be grieving for him too and be able to give him a final gift?
Tiffini: I think what a lot of it was was the whole time all of this was going on with everything, my mom and dad tried working with Penny and Kenny to try to work something out so they all, you know, benefit from having the kids out of foster care and come out of there and figure out what's going on but Penny and Kenny just totally just snubbed them off and walked away from them. And you know anything that my parents tried doing going above and beyond, in touch with them to talk to them about arrangements or to see what they coulddo because the way my mom and dad saw it-granted, yes Penny was Dalton's step grandmother, but the whole time all of it went on, even with funeral arrangements and everything, it was all I could do to pay for the funeral. If it wasn't for the truckers that were friends with my dad who handled most of it, I would have been hard pressed to do, you know. They bought the plots, paid of the opening and closing, and everything. They bought three of them at the time and I didn't know about it until afterwards that they had it removed. It was like it was a bitter battle between everybody.
Belinda: I just feel bad for Dalton. From where I'm sitting I see that it took them two days to find his grave for us so that she could leave him a teddy bear.
Kim: Did J.C. ever allude to you that he had done anything?
Belinda: What did he maintain? That Dalton just fell out of bed?
Tiffini: Yes, that he fell out of bed.
Kim: The main story that we have heard is that after you left, Dalton woke up and came into the living room. When he walked up to J.C. there was a crack pipe on the arm of the chair and he accidently knocked it onto the floor. J.C. backhanded him and knocked him into the wall.
Tiffini: See, I heard something along those lines, but um, Dalton came out of the bedroom and this i show um it was at the time because we didn't own a coffee table. But he came around the coffee table and blew stuff off the coffee table. Didn't have a coffee table. We had one stgand in the living room at the end of the one couch and that was it. I heard that when I was in the county jail. My uncle was in jail the same time I was. He told me- basically I was being told about it and J.C. was in there at the same time and he had told somebody in there and my uncle overheard.
Belinda: What about your uncle. Why didn't they let him testify?
Tiffini: Cause I don't think anybody even, you know, at the time you know, didn't know anything and all the investigating, you know, had already mostly, you know, been done at the time, you know. I don't know because I was in jail at the time, and I didn't know what was going on.
Kim: Is there any way that it could have been an accident?
Tiffini: From the way they told me, cause it was right at the base of the skull, you know, right where the rest of your spine goes up in, right there, the brain stem. And that's where it was. All I know is J.C. said he was fine when he put him to bed.
Kim: Another question is I thought he had put them to bed for the night, but it was you that put them to bed?
Tiffini: He was too busy watching a race on TV. Because earlier that day he needed video tapes to tape the drag race for his dad and I had went over to Walmart. The kids were with him for a matter of 20 minutes that day. They kept asking out there in Lisbon, one of the investigators for Juvenile court kept asking "Well do you have the reciept for that?" I'm like "Ya. I have the reciept." I keep reciepts for everything. I had went over, got those tapes, came out, and came home and the times I was telling them I was at these places, I had proof to prove I was at these places.
Kim: Is there anything that people ought to be aware of?
Tiffini: The main thing they gotta be aware of is just mostly in my aspect is you know, I keep telling everybody it that I wasn't there. I keep telling everybody that. I wasn't there. No, I wasn't there whe it supposedly happened. Iwas the one who basically found the outcome of what happened but um every body keeps saying that I never show no emotions or you know acted like I even cared that he had died or that he was gone. You know. I am not an emotional person in public, you know. Try talking to me around September 21, his birthday. I lock myself in my truck . I didn't leave my truck for three days because of it, you know, because I was out in my truck on his birthday. I just totally closed down completely, you know. And the only person I ever actually set and broke down with was my cousin Ashley.
Kim: Do you get to see any of your children at all?
Tiffini: No. It's been eight years, well about 7 and a half years since I have seen any of my kids. Lynn posts pictures of Sammy and Jordan on her myspace for me to see. And I have seen pictures of Morgan, like in her dress for a dance a few weeks ago.
We talked for a few more minutes and said our good byes. It was a long hour and 16 minutes because it was hard to hear about Dalton's death and the events surrounding it. But it answered a lot of questions for us. It was one side of a two sided story. Hopefully the scales of justice will be tipped in Dalton's favor. There can never be a happy ending here, but we will take any ending that doesn't include Dalton's murderer getting away with it.