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Archive for Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Mother of murdered baby pleads to child endangerment

November 22, 2006

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The mother of a 5-month-old baby killed in 2005 admitted Tuesday that she endangered the child by failing to report suspicious injuries, a plea that came days after the baby's father was convicted of first-degree murder.

Brandi Mae Hendrickson pleaded guilty to one count of child endangerment, a misdemeanor, in connection with the death of Risha Lafferty. Asked by District Judge Paula Martin what made her guilty of the crime, Hendrickson said she left both her daughters in the care of their father, Jay D. Decker, even after she found injuries on Risha.

"My youngest child lost her life through my decisions that I should have not made," said Hendrickson, who was 24 at the time of her arrest earlier this year. "My youngest paid the price, and I am going to also."

Hendrickson testified that after she began working in late summer 2005, she left her children in Decker's care at their apartment at Edgewood Homes, 1600 Haskell Ave.

When Risha turned up with bruises and other injuries, she testified, Decker told her they were from accidents - for example, that he tripped while carrying the baby and fell into the wall one day, or that he grabbed her as she fell off the couch another day.

At one point, Hendrickson said, she was prepared to take the baby to the hospital but didn't.

Brandi Mae Hendrickson testifies in Douglas County District Court about injuries to her daughter Risha J. Lafferty during the trial of Jay D. Decker, 27, who was convicted of killing 5-month-old Risha through repeated abuse.

Brandi Mae Hendrickson testifies in Douglas County District Court about injuries to her daughter Risha J. Lafferty during the trial of Jay D. Decker, 27, who was convicted of killing 5-month-old Risha through repeated abuse.

Risha died in October 2005 with a skull fracture, signs of being shaken and more than 30 bruises or external injuries on her body.

Hendrickson initially was charged with a felony but agreed to plead to the lesser charge in exchange for testifying against Decker. He was convicted last week at a jury trial and faces 20 years to life in prison, despite his attorneys' attempts to implicate Hendrickson in the death.

Hendrickson's attorney, Kay Huff, said her client wanted to be sentenced before January, when there is a hearing scheduled on whether Hendrickson will be able to keep custody of the couple's surviving daughter.

Martin scheduled the sentencing for Dec. 14 and alluded to the possibility that Hendrickson might face jail time. She can receive up to a year in jail under state law.

Comments

trinity 8 years, 1 month ago

i vote YES for jail time.

such a sad sad case. i have to wonder, is this woman capable of raising the remaining child, even with all the so-called "intervention" and such that will be offered her?

concernedparent 8 years, 1 month ago

She's just as guilty as he is. Lock them both up.

hockmano 8 years, 1 month ago

If we locked up everyone that truly needed help parenting the jail would be full!

whistlestop75 8 years, 1 month ago

Only a year???...That mother either doesn't have any instincts or she enjoyed having a man in her house at the expense of her children. I can't believe that someone posted that the jail would be full if we locked up everyone that needed parenting...give me a break...this goes beyond the how to's of parenting. This is choosing a man over her child.

Kat Christian 8 years, 1 month ago

I think you all are being way to harsh on her when I bet most of you could use some parenting training yourselves. I think to combat such tragedies as this is to education young people beginning in high school in the seriousness of the responsibilties of raising a child, along with how to care for a child, physically and emotionally. Kids need to be taught that when they have a child they need to know how to sacrifice for them. Given these tools hopefully young people will think twice about having children at such a young age until they are prepared to have them. I've seen so many young people in this town who have no business having children. Children without coats or hats on in cold weather or their coats wide open. Small children with snotty noses. Children screaming/crying in the middle of the store while their mother just ignore sthem instead of dealing with them because obviously the child is unhappy and needs a parent's assistance. If we start training at a very early age and not expect children to behave this way you'd be surprised how cooperative they are when they get older. They need a good foundation of someone to trust in them and respect their needs and their world made comfortable and safe to thrive in.
I feel bad for this gal becuase I see no one took the time to teach her how to be a good mother. I hope she gets some training and learns some insight into motherhood. Unfortunately society or this town hasn't caught on that early training and intervention is what young people need so lets get to it folks.

feeble 8 years, 1 month ago

I think you all are being way to harsh on her when I bet most of you could use some parenting training yourselves.

Yeah, but how many of the posters here have had a child die from abuse and neglect?

This individual did far more than simply be a bad parent, they stood by and watched their child die due to physical abuse, abuse that occured over a significant span of time. All the training in the world won't make a difference if the person recieving the training isn't willing to do the right thing.

concernedparent 8 years, 1 month ago

sunshine_noise, I don't think anyone should have tought this crazy biotch to be a parent. Its something she should have learned on her own before having children, that she obviously didn't care for. Quit defending her, she's a murderer too.

Warren6032 8 years, 1 month ago

First, I see this as a "girl" who was too young to have children (babies having babies), who was playing house with an abusive male. It's terrible that a child (baby) had to die. She plead-bargained to stay out of jail. I have no pity toward him whatsoever. As far as her punishment, I just don't know, but obviously the DA needed her testimony to convict him, meaning plea bargaining.

bambam 8 years, 1 month ago

Get a rope for both of them. She had to know more than what she is telling they never tell all of the truth just enough to get by. As far as education they are doing that in the schools they have baby dolls that record if you fed and held them or if you just let them cry.
seems like a lot of the young girls today will put up with anything just to have a guy in their life. Cost this family a child to have a loser around.

I hope the other daughter of hers is put in a safe home I feel sorry for her and the thoughts and feelings she must be having for her little sisters death.

TheEleventhStephanie 8 years, 1 month ago

"I hope she gets some training and learns some insight into motherhood. "

Are you kidding me? You think it takes training to learn that it isn't okay to overlook the fact that your baby's daddy is slowing beating your kid to death? You think it takes training to learn that it isn't okay to hit a baby's head against the wall?

You give her way too much credit. She's as guilty as he is.

whistlestop75 8 years, 1 month ago

Posted by Warren6032;

First, I see this as a "girl" who was too young to have children (babies having babies), who was playing house with an abusive male.

The baby was 5 months old and the mother was 24 at the time of her arrest!! 24 years old is not a baby having babies...This woman was 6 years out of high school...she could be a college grad! Give me a break...at 24 you are expected to be an adult, with adult concepts...

She did not protect her child...plain and simple... She is as guilty as he is.

sublime 8 years, 1 month ago

Up to a year????WTF???That goofy beyoch should die.

mom_of_three 8 years, 1 month ago

Must be nice to be a perfect person and a parent.

Kids, even babies, get bruises. But after the second incident, she should have stuck with her instincts and took the baby to the hospital. I don't think she chose her man over her kids. Since we were not in her shoes, we really don't know what happened or what he said to her.
I wasn't on the jury, were any of you??

whistlestop75 8 years, 1 month ago

Risha died in October 2005 with a skull fracture, signs of being shaken and more than 30 bruises or external injuries on her body.

mom_of_three:

You can honestly make that statement after reading the baby was 5 months old and you have 3 children? Once in awhile babies that age stands and falls into something, but for the mother to say at one point she considered taking the baby to the hospital because of injuries but didn't doesn't make you question her? How bout the fact she listened to her live in about falling with the baby in the summer of "05? The baby would have been 3 months old...good lord...they let her plea bargain down to child endangerment...The reason must be because they were afraid of people like you on the jury.

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