UPDATE (7/06/2023): Nathaniel Jordan was sentenced to 41 years in prison.


MUNCIE, Ind. — A Delaware County jury has convicted a central Indiana man of child neglect resulting in death after police say he punched his girlfriend in the face while she was driving, causing a crash that killed her 6-year-old daughter.

On Thursday, 33-year-old Nathaniel L. Jordan of Farmland was convicted on multiple felony counts of neglect of a dependent resulting in death, in addition to a misdemeanor driving while suspended charge.

The charges against Jordan stem from a May 2017 crash in Muncie that claimed the life of 6-year-old Taelyn Woodson. Investigators said Jordan partially caused the crash by punching his girlfriend in the face while she was driving, causing her to lose control of the car.

The crash

The crash, police said, occurred around 4:30 p.m. on May 28, 2017, in Muncie.

Investigators said the driver, 28-year-old Jessica Skeens of Farmland, was driving a van with Jordan, her boyfriend. Two of Skeens’ children were in the middle seat in child restraint seats. Two other children were in the rear seat without child restraint seats.

Investigators arrived on the scene and determined that Jordan punched Skeens and grabbed the steering wheel, causing the crash. The van reportedly left the roadway, rolling over into a ditch and coming to rest on its wheels.

Skeens’ 6-year-old daughter Taelyn Woodson was in the back seat, and she was partially ejected out of a window. She died from her injuries. 

The three other children in the car, police said, were taken to IU Health’s Ball Memorial Hospital for treatment of minor injuries.

While speaking with both Jordan and Skeens, police said they could smell a strong odor of alcohol on their breath. Furthermore, numerous full and empty bottles of alcohol were found in and outside of the van, along with a pill bottle with marijuana inside.

Skeens and Jordan were both taken to Ball Memorial Hospital for blood alcohol samples. Police later said Skeens’ blood alcohol content was over the .08% legal limit at the time of the crash.

However, Skeens would later argue in court that her impairment didn’t cause the crash, maintaining that Jordan punching her and grabbing the wheel is what caused her to lose control.


Jordan was arrested shortly after the crash around 7:40 p.m. the same day and initially charged with criminal recklessness and domestic battery.

Three days later, on May 30, 2017, Skeens was also arrested and charged with various drunk driving, child neglect and drug possession charges. She has since been sentenced to 41 years in prison after being found guilty on 7 of the 9 charges.

In 2020, Skeens asked for an appeal in Indiana Supreme Court that was later denied. Her conviction and sentencing have been upheld multiple times.

While Skeens’ criminal trial has concluded, Jordan’s trial is ongoing.

Thursday’s update

An update in the case came on Thursday, May 8, after a Delaware County jury convicted Jordan for his role in the crash after deliberating for 2 hours.

In total, Jordan was convicted of five felonies and one misdemeanor for his role in the crash. The charges included:

  • One count of neglect of a dependent resulting in death (level 1 felony)
  • One count of battery resulting in serious bodily injury (level 5 felony)
  • Three counts of neglect of a dependent (level 6 felonies)
  • One count of driving while suspended (class A misdemeanor)

The maximum sentence for all of Jordan’s charges combined would be 64.5 years in prison. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for July 6 in Delaware Circuit Court 3.