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Mom Accused of Murdering Daughter, 4, Denies Harming Her

Monday, May 07, 2012

The mother accused of murdering her 4-year-old daughter took the stand in Brooklyn Supreme Court on Monday, referred to the child as "my baby” and denying accusations that have been leveled at her during the trial.

Carlotta Brett-Pierce said her daughter, Marchella, who weighed 18 pounds when she died in September 2010, did not appear too thin to her.

“To me, at the time, it didn’t look bad,” Brett-Pierce said on the stand. “To me it looked like a child that wasn’t sitting on her booty in a hospital.”

Marchella had only a kernel of corn in her stomach at the time of her death and more than 70 injuries to her body and head, Brooklyn's deputy chief medical examiner testified in court last week.

She died of child abuse syndrome, with acute drug poisoning, blunt impact injuries, malnutrition and dehydration, according to his report.

Outside the courtroom, Brett-Pierce’s lawyer, Alan Stutman, said the best thing that came out of the testimony was that the jury got to see his client “as a mother.” During her testimony, when she talked about the difficulties her daughter faced since being born, Brett-Pierce did seem to achieve that.

Brett-Pierce seemed calm and composed on the stand, as she described how she visited Marchella in all institutions she stayed at and how she learned to use a tracheal and feeding tube, which Marchella needed.

Marchella was born prematurely, at 24 weeks, and weighed just over a pound. She suffered from a variety of ailments and spent most of her life in various hospitals.

When cross-examined by the prosecutor, Brett-Pierce, became combative at times. She denied certain events, which prosecution plans to offer a rebuttal to later this week.

In the last question from the prosecutor, Brett-Pierce acknowledged her younger son, at nine months, weighed 18 pounds – the same amount as Marchella, when she died at the age of 4.

Prosecutors also allege that Brett-Pierce tied Marchella to the bed of Loretta Brett’s, the child's maternal grandmother, from April or May 2010 until she died.

Brett-Pierce said she only restrained Marchella once, in September 2010, after she put out her tracheal tube several times.

Brett is also on trial, facing charges with manslaughter.

Both women have pleaded not guilty to the charges.

With the Associated Press

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Comments [3]

fleur from Brooklyn

Blame those who decide that a fetus, born at 24 weeks with obvious developmental problems that will last all its life, is resussicitated to nobody's advantage, least of all to the child's. The baby, the family, society are all the worse off. Obviously Mother Nature (or God, or whatever power you believe in) did not intend for this child to live and she would never be a functioning part of our society. Why not just let her peacefully slip away when her hopeless situation presents itself at birth. I feel sorry for these parents who, consciously or unconsciously knew that that was the best solution, but they are prevented by law, church teaching, social opprobrium from doing the only logical, humane thing.

May. 07 2012 09:31 PM
karina from Hoboken, NJ

Sorry, but you don't kill a child, regardless of your socio-economic status, unless you have extreme mental issues. If they did have mental issues, then I feel for them greatly, as one cannot help that, and if that goes untreated, I suppose such atrocities could happen.

And where were the case workers? Please elaborate on that aspect.

May. 07 2012 05:40 PM
bernie from bklyn

before you rush to blame the mother and grandmother please remember the socio-economic conditions for people of color in this country and the fact that people of color can never commit a crime or do anything wrong without remembering this. they were good people; they couldn't have done this on their own. it must me the socio-economic conditions for people of color. before you rush to judgement don't forget that the idea of personal responsibility cannot be applied to people of color because of the socio-economic conditions which they are forced to live under voids any responsibility.
they guy that took my phone the other day can't be demonized. he did it because he's a young man of color. the gangs of teens who are 'of color' could never be racist when they target, assault and rob people who are not 'of color'. they're forced to endure horrible socio-economic conditions. the woman screaming swear words and smacking her 5 kids in the supermarket can't be criticized. she's a single mom and a woman of color who's had to endure these socio-economic conditions her whole life. she got pregnant 5 times starting at age 14 because she's a young girl of color who had to live under socio-econimic conditions that forced her and her "parents" to not discuss personal responsibility in any way. please everyone, don't rush to judgement.

May. 07 2012 09:25 AM

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