A Stone County jury convicted Victoria A. Dycus, 30, of first degree murder last week in the death of her 4-year-old daughter, Skylar Shellstrom, in November, 2016.
Dycus was sentenced to 19 years in the Arkansas Department of Correction (ADC) and will serve at least 70 percent of her sentence (13.3 years) before being eligible for parole.
Also charged in the same crime is James Hagen Glenn, 32, who was living with Dycus and her daughter at the time of the girl’s death. He is scheduled for trial Aug. 15.
The jury deliberated a little over four hours before returning the guilty verdict, which felt like progress but not the end of the story for Skylar’s father, Jonathan Shellstrom.
“Number one, I’d rather have Skylar here. Number two, we’re halfway there. We got one. Now we need to get the other one,” he told the Leader just after the jury delivered its sentence Friday afternoon.
Shellstrom, who is incarcerated in Stone County Jail on an unrelated matter, was brought to the courthouse to be present for the verdict Friday afternoon.
“I’m pleased with how it turned out. I believe the jury did their job to the best of their ability, and I’d like to thank the jury,” he said.
The jurors, including 10 women and two men, sat through approximately two days of evidence, including autopsy photos and extensive medical testimony indicating Skylar suffered chronic abuse in the weeks leading up to her death. The cause of death listed on her autopsy was blunt force trauma, which caused a tear to a portion of her small intestine followed by overwhelming abdominal infection.
See the full story in the May 16, 2018 issue.