Archive for Saturday, January 7, 2006

Mother charged in infant’s death

Change delays father’s hearing

January 7, 2006


A preliminary hearing for a man charged with the murder of his 5-month-old daughter was delayed Friday when the case took a new twist.

The girl's mother was charged Thursday as an accomplice in the death.

Brandi Mae Hendrickson, 24, Lawrence, is accused of aggravated endangering of a child in the death of her daughter, Risha Lafferty, in October 2005. Hendrickson is free on her own recognizance and has been ordered to appear for a preliminary hearing Jan. 26 in Douglas County District Court.

The girl's father, Jay D. Decker, 26, was arrested and charged in October with first-degree murder. He is accused of killing the baby by child abuse. Decker's preliminary hearing was set for Friday before Judge Paula Martin, but prosecutors requested a continuance because of a "problem with a witness." The witness wasn't identified, but Hendrickson was likely to be one of those witnesses.

Dist. Atty. Charles Branson said later that Hendrickson was potentially a witness but the charge against her changed her availability as a witness.

A new hearing was tentatively scheduled for Feb. 17 or March 10. Meanwhile, Decker remains in jail on $250,000 bond. Hendrickson and Decker are not married.

On the morning of Oct. 14, 2005, Lawrence Police and emergency medical crews were called to Decker's apartment at Edgewood Homes, 1600 Haskell Ave. Decker was holding the unresponsive baby in his arms when they arrived, a police spokesman said at the time. Efforts to revive the girl failed.

An autopsy later showed the girl died from physical abuse.

Branson declined to say much about the allegations against Hendrickson.

He did note that the charge against her states that Hendrickson "intentionally and recklessly" caused Risha Lafferty to be placed in a situation in which the child's life or health could be endangered between Oct. 1 and Oct. 14. Prosecutors think Hendrickson knew abuse was taking place, Branson said.


Kathleen Christian 12 years, 3 months ago

This had nothing to do with her being abused (that we know of) - However if she was aware that his was abusing the child she should have taken measures to prevent any further abuse. Leaving the baby with him after knowing this certainly places guilt upon her. I disagree with your comment about having a support system that meets the needs for battered women and children - because we do not. The law for one thing does not support abused women - for instance filing an order for the abuser to stay away from the abused is not effective at all. There are not enough homes to house battered women and children and certainly never enough funds to support them. Additionally, it has to do with educating parents in child rearing. It should be a mandatory class in high schools for young adults to take parenting classes.

girlie04 12 years, 3 months ago

well as a close respondent to the case.I'm glad to see that the wheels are turning in the right direction.As in the fact that the mother of Risha is finally being involved in what happened to her! girlie04 (whispers).......could she have done it all??????? If the prosecution does it's job. The truth and nothing but the truth will come out.

gr 12 years, 3 months ago

What happened to the idea of "women's rights" to do as they "choose" with their own babies? 'These milk-sucking leaches cause harm to the mother's body and it is the women's right and convenience to get rid of it.'

If she paid the guy, would it make a difference?

lizzyp13 12 years, 2 months ago

Trust me, "women's rights" has absolutely nothing to do with this case. Oh funny, funny, tricky little girl!!

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