(What I read to the court during *Beth's sentencing hearing)
I am standing here today on behalf of Brittney, her father and myself. This whole ordeal started way back on May 3rd, 2000, but I can still remember it as if it were yesterday. It was clearly the worst day of our lives, the day we almost lost our daughter Brittney.
*Beth took Brittney to the Hospital where she was then sent to another hospital for a CT scan. On the CT scan it showed that she had a fractured skull and bleeding on the brain. They didn't know how much so they rushed her by helicopter to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.
I remember calling *Beth that afternoon from Hospital. She didn't sound a bit upset. As a matter of fact, she told me that I should have placed myself in her shoes and that she was scared half to death. Death is what our daughter almost seen that day in May.
I remember sitting there in the ER at the hospital with my husband and his parents wondering if our daughter was going to be okay. The hardest thing I've ever had to endure was actually letting go of her long enough to have her flown to Iowa City. It was the longest two hours of our lives. We didn't know if our Brittney was going to survive.
When we finally arrived in Iowa City we were not prepared to see what we saw. Our little girl in the ICU hooked up to all sorts of monitors and IV's. I still remember to this day how lifeless her little body looked. I have never cried so hard in my life as I did that day.
While in Iowa City, Brittney had the best doctors and nurses watching over her night and day. They determined that she not only had a fractured skull and bleeding on the brain, but a scalp lesion on the left side of her head, a blown eardrum, and retinal hemorrhages. Let me remind you that retinal hemorrhages are commonly found with shaken baby and shaken/slam baby cases.
Brittney was poked and prodded for about five days in Iowa City. They doctors then decided that she was okay to go home. That night was very scary for us. As severe as Britt's injuries were, we weren't quite easy with the reassurance that the doctors gave us that she was going to be okay.
As Brittney's parents, this has been a very trying ordeal for us. It was very hard to cope with what happened to our daughter and to think about how close we were to losing her. It was even harder for me, her mother, because this was my best friend that had done this to my child. *Beth betrayed me in the worst way anyone can betray a friend. It is extremely hard to look at her and not feel extreme sorrow and anger. I think back on all the years we were friends and I can 't understand how she could do this to my daughter, of all children. And living in a small town, I will never be able to escape her. She lives exactly five blocks straight down the street from me and only two blocks away from my grandmother's house.
We feel that no matter what, *Beth will not get the punishment that she deserves. She shows absolutely no remorse for what she has done. As a matter of fact, about five months ago she tried pleading innocence straight to my face.
For the past year and a half, she has lied to her husband, parents, family and friends, along with our whole town. I not only find this sickening, but disturbing. I'm not sure if she's just that sick, or if she actually doesn't realize just how serious this was.
As far as her punishment, like I said before, *Beth will not get the punishment she deserves. First of all, we think it's extremely important that she gets the help she needs. This would require her to take some kind of assaultive behavior or anger management classes along with some kind of parenting classes. The reason being that she not only doesn't know how to control her temper, but she doesn't seem to know how to handle children very well either. And these classes should be taken for a lengthy period of time so she learns the correct way to control her temper and to handle children correctly.
We would like her to pay restitution to us and to the Crime Victim Compensation Program for all bills and expenses we have had to pay out of pocket for her crime. She should also have to pay a fine on top of this. As Britt's parents, we would also like the no contact order carried out. Most of this is for Britt's safety. She's already been hurt by *Beth once, we definitely don't need it happening again.
And lastly, we would extremely appreciate it if you would consider sending *Beth to the county jail for at least one week to a month. We feel that this would at least be some kind of punishment. My daughter spent a week of her life as a baby in the hospital because of what *Beth did to her. She suffered extreme pain and misery. The last year and a half has been hard on our whole family. I don't think a little time in the county jail is asking too much for what she has done to Brittney as well as our families. We want her to spend some time away from her family and friends so she can focus on her wrong doings. Also away from her daughter so she knows what it feels like to miss her daughter on a daily basis, because she almost made it to where we wouldn't be able to see our daughter ever again. We would also like it if you would consider making her do some community service, at least a hundred hours of it.
As *Beth's past friend, I can reassure you this would be some kind of punishment to her. Even though *Beth was founded by the Department of Human Services for physical abuse conflicted on our daughter and placed on the registry, we feel that she deserves some kind of punishment besides probation.
I would also like to remind the Court that *Beth tried to appeal the Department of Human Services position on being founded for physical abuse but was denied because they had substantial amount of evidence that showed that *Beth did indeed injure Brittney.
The main thing we should be accomplishing with *Beth's punishment is for her to get the help she needs so this sickening crime doesn't happen again. Who knows, if she doesn't get the help that she needs, next time the outcome may not be so pleasant. Next time she may actually take the life of an innocent child because she came mighty close to it last time.
This ordeal has been every parent's nightmare. When we agreed to have *Beth take care of Brittney when I went back to work, we thought we were doing the best thing possible for our daughter. Who better to watch your child than you best friend, right? This just goes to show that you can't truly trust anyone with your children. Going through this definitely makes you second guess anyone you put your child in care with. It makes it hard to trust anyone.
Brittney is our angel, our pride and joy. This ordeal has been tough on our whole family. We've all lost sleep, have had insecurity issues, had fear, and both Todd and I have suffered with depression. All we ask is that *Beth gets at least some kind of punishment for her crime. We do not feel that probation is enough. As a past friend of *Beth's, I can reassure you she will not learn with just a slap on the wrist. I feel that we need to make a point, not only to *Beth, but to the public. If we do not punish *Beth for what she did to Brittney, what are we saying to society? That it's okay to abuse and almost kill a child? I don't feel we should be that lenient on her since she was not lenient on our daughter, nor any other child that she may have abused.
We find it sick and disturbing that a grown woman would take her anger out on a helpless, innocent child. A baby that, I'm sure, only cried because she was hungry, needed some attention, or had a wet diaper. We don't know if Brittney will have any problems down the road. She may have vision problems, hearing problems, and learning difficulties because of what *Beth did to her. We just pray that she doesn't. She was a perfect little girl until someone she trusted viciously attacked her.
As a member of the Area Council for Further Prevention of Child Abuse, I'll sum this up by saying that we need to start taking a stand against child abuse and let's start thinking of the innocent children that are truly the victims of these heinous crimes.
Email us at: