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Thread: Couple charged in baby's death

  1. #1
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    Couple charged in baby's death

    Investigators say great-grandmother covered up abuse when girl's leg broke

    A'aniah Collins had suffered a great deal of pain by the time her short life ended Dec. 15.

    Broken bones, bruises and bites.
    And fear, relatives say. She would cling to other people and cry whenever her mother and her mother's boyfriend would come to pick her up.
    Despite the signs of abuse, prosecutors say no one called child welfare authorities. One witness, investigators say, admits lying to cover for the suspects.
    Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi on Friday charged the girl's mother, Brandy Strader, and Strader's boyfriend, Lester Smith, in connection with the beating death of 16-month-old A'aniah.

    Smith, 21, was charged with murder and is accused of inflicting the blunt-force injuries that killed A'aniah. Strader, 20, was charged with neglect for allegedly ignoring the abuse and failing to protect her daughter. If convicted, Smith could face a sentence of 45 to 65 years in prison and Strader could face 20 to 50 years, Brizzi said.
    Warrants were issued for their arrests, but neither was in custody late Friday evening.

    Evidence of abuse was clear to doctors who performed A'aniah's autopsy.
    Two doctors found bruises on her head, her stomach and elsewhere on her body. A dentist saw a human bite mark on A'aniah's face. The doctors found her malnourished, weighing 161/2 pounds at the time of her death. Prosecutors say that is about the size of a typical 6-month-old.
    The unexplained injuries began shortly after Smith moved in with A'aniah's mother in March, Tudor said.
    Chelcie Croom, A'aniah's 13-year-old aunt, told police she saw Smith yank A'aniah's arm and hurl racial insults at the child.
    "You're not my baby," Smith told A'aniah, according to records.

    A'aniah's father, Donald Collins III, and his mother, Rhonda Collins, could not be reached Friday. They have told The Star that they feared for the girl's safety and tried to alert Child Protection Services, but got no response.
    Investigators have not found evidence to support that, Brizzi said. Child welfare officials say no one reported abuse.
    http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dl...WS01/601140433
    Just when I think that I have seen the most depraved things a human can do to another human, somebody posts a new story...........

    Why is it that when a custodial parent fails to provide for a child it is called neglect and is a criminal matter. But when a non custodial parent fails to provide it is called failure to support and is a civil matter?


    "Just when the caterpillar thought its world was over, it became a butterfly" ~ Michelle Knight

  2. #2
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    That poor baby...why would someone stand by and ignore the signs that she was being abused? How can someone live with the knowledge that they stood by and let that child die...not even trying to help her. I cannot imagine as a mother letting anyone harm my children...I just don't understand... :'(

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by dbmthur
    That poor baby...why would someone stand by and ignore the signs that she was being abused? How can someone live with the knowledge that they stood by and let that child die...not even trying to help her. I cannot imagine as a mother letting anyone harm my children...I just don't understand... :'(
    This seems to have gotten out of hand, so quickly. Actually I think it's the media paying more attention all of a sudden, maybe not more actual cases. The internet and the media is more able to highlight cases that are disturbing.

    The thing that really bothers me so much is there are children who will be next month's news. Next month, we'll all be crying why didn't someone help, and this month they're living in hell. These babies that today we wish we could turn back the clock, there are more and more coming. And more and more tiny caskets and crying grandmothers wishing they did something rather than stand by stupidly. Next month's headlines.

    Prayers that this increased media effort, and increased internet presence, makes more people insist that these children not be beaten to death.

  4. #4
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    I keep trying to think of a solution that would work for these children. CPS and DHS is overwraught with cases. Their only excuse is that they have to prioritize their cases, etc.. We've all heard it. The county/city/state budget only allows for so many case workers. So, they can't just hire more people. They'd have to get a whole new budget. That would probably work, if the county/city/state would go along. But notoriously, that doesn't happen.

    Better training? Maybe... But I've gotta believe that with NO training, if I walked into a house and saw a 16 month old with bruises all over her, and a cast on her leg, I'd think 'hmmm, something isnt right here'. I know they weren't called to this particular house. But, they have been to countless houses where they saw what was going on, but could/would do nothing.

    I'm not sure what the answer is, but I believe the entire DHS/CPS system needs overhauling. Children die every day at the hands of their parents. CPS needs to be more involved. What could we do?

  5. #5
    SewingDeb's Avatar
    SewingDeb is offline "Sorry, I'm not qualified to land the plane."
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    Quote Originally Posted by dbmthur
    That poor baby...why would someone stand by and ignore the signs that she was being abused? How can someone live with the knowledge that they stood by and let that child die...not even trying to help her. I cannot imagine as a mother letting anyone harm my children...I just don't understand... :'(
    This happens way too often. This is like the 7 year old who died in NY....people knew and did nothing.

  6. #6
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    Mother, Boyfriend In Custody Following Toddler's Death

    INDIANAPOLIS -- A mother and her boyfriend are in custody in connection with the death of a 16-month-old child.


    Brandy Strader, 21, and Lester Smith, 22, surrendered just before 9 a.m. Monday.


    Smith is charged with murder and Strader is charged with neglect following the death of Aaniah Collins.

    A coroner's report indicated that Collins died from multiple injuries to her head and blunt force trauma to her abdominal area.

    More: http://www.theindychannel.com/news/6...s=ind&psp=news
    Rest in Peace to my best buddy and baby, Buster ~ He crossed the Rainbow Bridge on Jan. 3, 2011. I miss you, Buster and love you with all my being.

  7. #7
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    Angry



    Why is this happening over and over these poor babies are being killed left and right! Everybody needs to become involved and stop living in this "Its none of my business " world and make it thier business. Physically intervene only if you have to, you can still make citizens arrests, also get plate numbers off cars, yell for someone to call 911 anything to get help the more attention you draw the better thats one thing an abuser hates is attention when thier attacking a child. I am not a know it all but I have personal experience in this area so please, please do what ever you can, and keep the child first and foremost in your mind don't worry about what people will think about you. Alot of times it takes more than the wife or girlfriend, husband or boyfriend to be the one to be making calls it may take calls from family, friends and nieghbors. Not that you guys didn't already know this but I thought I would throw this out there.

  8. #8
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    LESTER SMITH, Appellant-Defendant,

    vs.

    STATE OF INDIANA, Appellee-Plaintiff.

    APPEAL FROM THE MARION SUPERIOR COURT
    The Honorable Grant W. Hawkins, Judge

    September 17, 2008

    Appellant-defendant Lester Smith appeals his conviction for Murder,1 a felony, claiming that the trial court erred in admitting evidence of his alleged prior acts of violence that he committed against the child victim in violation of Indiana Evidence Rule 404(b) (Rule 404(b)). Smith also argues that the evidence was insufficient to support the conviction because the State’s case against him was merely circumstantial. Finding no error, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

    snip

    Following the State’s presentation of evidence, the trial court granted Strader’s motion for involuntary dismissal pursuant to Indiana Trial Rule 41(B). At the conclusion of the trial, Smith was acquitted of neglect of a dependent and found guilty of murder and battery. On January 11, 2008, the trial court sentenced Smith to fifty-five years of incarceration for A’aniah’s murder. The trial court merged the battery count and imposed no sentence on that offense. Smith now appeals.

    BBM - Appeal at link:
    http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/data2/...9170803jgb.pdf
    ___________________________________________

    Lester Smith

    Housed: Pendleton Correctional Facility
    Sentence Date: 01/11/2008

    Offense: Murder
    Sentence: 55 years

    Earliest Possible Release Date: 10/14/2033
    ________________________________________________

    Involuntary dismissal is the termination of a court case despite the plaintiff's objection.

    In United States Federal courts, involuntary dismissal is governed by Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP) Rule 41(b).

    Involuntary dismissal is made by a defendant through a motion for dismissal, on grounds that plaintiff is not prosecuting the case, is not complying with a court order, or to comply with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

    Involuntary dismissal can also be made by order of the judge when no defendant has made a motion to dismiss. Involuntary dismissal is a punishment that courts may use when a party to a case is not acting properly. Other punishments are found in FRCP Rule 11, Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure Rule 38, sections 1927 and 1912 of Title 28 United States Code, and inherent powers of the court.

    Involuntary dismissal bars the case from being brought to court again, unless the judge says otherwise.

    [ame]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Involuntary_dismissal[/ame]
    Last edited by Belinda; 05-14-2010 at 02:35 PM. Reason: added definition

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