Appleton mother in court for child neglect resulting in death

Posted at 10:56 PM, Jun 11, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-12 00:00:12-04

An Appleton mother in court, more than a year after police found her daughter who was living with special needs dead in their home.

Police officers say when they got to Nicole Gussert's home on Winnebago Ave. in Appleton, it smelled like rotting food, human waste and death.

That's where they found Brianna Gussert dead at only 13 years old.

"Well we're all heartbroken," said Greg Gussert, Brianna’s father. 

Greg Gussert can only watch as his ex-wife Nicole Gussert appears in court facing a charge of Child Neglect Resulting In Death.

"It's just like a wound that's being reopened," said Greg. 

According to court documents, Brianna needed constant care.

"She was unable to walk. She was unable to talk. She was unable to care for herself at all," said Melinda Tempelis, Outagamie County District Attorney. 

Care, the documents say, Nicole neglected to provide. 

In an interview with officers, Nicole said she couldn't remember the last time she had fed or changed Brianna. 

An autopsy shows Brianna died of sepsis, a blood infection that can be cause by neglect.

"Some of the worst news I’ve ever heard. It's unbelievable what she had to go through," said Greg.

Nicole also faces drug charges after police say she tried to sell her Adderall.

"Anytime somebody would share medication that is not theirs poses a risk to their own health and the health of the person that they're giving it to," said Tempelis.

While Greg says he wishes Nicole faced more prison time, he says he’s glad after a year, the trial is moving forward. 

A judge set Nicole Gussert's bond at $300,000.

If convicted on all four counts, she could spend the next six decades behind bars.

She'll be back in court on June 19th.