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LJWorld.com weblogs The Lawrence Crime Blotter

Mother enters plea in fatal child-abuse case

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The mother of a 5-month-old baby killed in October 2005 admitted this afternoon that she endangered the baby 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 Court 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 Risha began turning up with injuries."My youngest child lost her life through my decisions that I should have not made," said Hendrickson, age 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.Risha died 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 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. Judge Martin scheduled the sentencing for Dec. 14 and alluded to the possibility that Hendrickson could face jail time. -contributed by [Eric Weslander.][1] [1]: http://www2.ljworld.com/staff/eric_weslander

Comments

creaz 3 years ago

SAD,...VERY SADDENED FOREMOST FOR THAT POOR BABY- r.i.p - AND ALSO SADDENED FOR OUR "JUDICIAL" "SYSYTEM" ONE CASE THAT IS SO GUILTY OF SUCH SEVERITY AND THEN THE CASES THAT MAY DESERVE A SECOND CHANCE GET THE BOOK!!! ...COME AND WHAT WAS THAT??? ...' "THEY" ARE HERE TO SERVE, ...PROTECT',...??? I REALLY DON'T KNOW ABOUT THAT ONE .!!!.
IF YOU ARE NOT OUTRAGED YOU ARE NOT PAYING ATTENTION .!!!.

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sublime 7 years, 4 months ago

A drain snake...damn. They should drown her in a bucket of piss.

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Kelly Powell 7 years, 5 months ago

Yeah, and maybe she was throwing the kid around some herself....but she was the first to cop a plea by rolling over on hubby...thus ensuring his conviction.....They should rip her ovaries out with a drain snake.

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kujeeper 7 years, 5 months ago

She should've faced murder by accessory or involuntary manslaughter charges....but once again Marion manages to insert some Nazi thoughts!

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BlueRoom 7 years, 5 months ago

Ok - LJW must have revised the artical. I don't see mention of misdemeanor charges or 6 months in jail for the so called "mother". It's scary to think of what kind of mothers are out there. Maybe she knew what he was doing to her children but was afraid of losing him if she did anything about it, so she let him get away with it. Or maybe its what she wanted. just to gain his unbeating love. But then again not. Why isn't there more education in school about family living? It should be a standard along with the basic subjects.

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KansasKel 7 years, 5 months ago

This is really random and doesn't matter in the least, but I've always wondered why the mother, the father, and the baby all have different last names.

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Marion Lynn 7 years, 5 months ago

Another monster let loose to kill again.

Babies are expendable.

Wir mussen die Babies ausrotten!

Thanks.

Marion.

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Sigmund 7 years, 5 months ago

Less than 6 months for "child endangerment." Sad.

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missmagoo 7 years, 5 months ago

I cannot believe she got off with a misdemeanor. This is a storybook felony and I hope she does time and looses her other child. Didn't someone testify in this case that she was abusive as well?

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nlf78 7 years, 5 months ago

I hope she gets jail time! You don't just sit by and watch as your infant is being abused. I don't agree with the fact that they have allowed her to plea to misdemeanors, but that's the way the legal system works. And I hope the surviving daughter gets placed in a safe and loving home.

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