Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Moms from Hell

by Kathryn Casey

Lately the Mom-from-Hell phenomenon has consumed residents of my hometown, Houston, slapping us in the face every morning over our cereal and orange juice. During the past month, the Houston Chronicle's front pages have displayed photos of a beautiful young mother charged with committing a despicable crime against her infant son and a supposedly dedicated nurse who allegedly sat back and let her boyfriend turn her young daughter's life into a living hell.

Case one, photo above, Katherine Nadal, in March 2007 the mother of a five-week-old boy. What did Nadal do? Well, according to her ex-husband, she first spent a night partying and taking drugs, then argued with him about whether or not their infant son should be circumcised. It seems Nadal was in favor and her husband wasn't. The next day, prosecutors argued, Nadal took a knife and cut off her infant son's penis and testicles, then unemotionally watched him bleed, nearly dying, as the EMTs she called attempted to save his life.

A former cheerleader, Nadal's nothing if not consistent. Last Friday, when she stood to hear the jury's verdict -- a resounding guilty -- she stared blank-faced around the courtroom. Jurors apparently didn't believe Nadal's contention that the family's mini-dachshund bit off the infant's genitals. Experts during the punishment phase argued that the child will never have a normal life, be able to have children, and may be in danger of committing suicide throughout his teenage years. For this horrible act, the jury sentenced Nadal to 99 years.

Case two is just as horrifying, the on-going heartbreak of the short and terrifying life of little Emma Thompson, the cute, red-headed four-year-old pictured on the right. Before she died, Emma came to the attention of Houston's Child Protective Services when she contracted genital herpes. One would think perhaps that should have been enough to take the child away from her mother. Apparently CPS disagrees. Emma's mom, Abigail Young, is a nurse, described as a gifted one at that. How did she explain her daughter's STD? A dirty toilet seat. Next thing we know, little Emma was beaten to death.

Granted, CPS didn't know that Young was living with Lucas Ruric Coe, reportedly pond scum already well known to the agency. That's Coe and Young pictured below. Among his past brushes with the law: assault with a deadly weapon, criminal mischief and injury to a child. He'd been investigated by CPS three times in unrelated charges involving another girlfriend's child.

When CPS investigated the herpes blisters found in Emma's mouth, hands and genitals, Young insisted she lived alone with Emma and her two older daughters, ages 11 and six. "She denied having a boyfriend," a CPS spokesperson has said.

The day Emma died, her mother rushed her to the hospital. But first, Young apparently tried to repair some of the damage from the horrendous beating the child received by attempting to super-glue her cracked skull. At autopsy, Emma had 80 bruises, a fractured skull, brain hemorrhage, and a vaginal tear. She also suffered blunt-force trauma to her abdomen, the death blow.

Texas Governor Rick Perry has ordered an investigation into why CPS didn't remove little Emma when the herpes was diagnosed, which might have saved her life. Meanwhile, the rest of us shake our heads and wonder how any mother could do the things Nadal and Young are charged with. Sometimes reading the morning newspaper is enough to make me sick.


Paralegal Sandy said...

AMEN !!!!!!!!

Jeannine said...

As a CPS worker myself, I am a little confused as to why the "genital" herpes was not enough to support sexual abuse. Herpes does not come from a toilet seat and a nurse would know that - a social worker most likely would too. Somebody at the office was having a long day and was too tired to put in the effort.

As for the dog story - not buying that one. Of course not, the self-absorbed brat needs psychiatric counseling. This is a bit over the edge for a temper tantrum. I don't think you can pin this one on post partum stress either.

Rose said...

As a former CPS caseworker in the State of Texas, I completely agree with Jeannine, and think that Perry was right to demand an investigation. Just because a person is educated does not mean that they can't and won't hurt their child. Did the worker interview the children? I hate to make assumptions, but Sounds like she/he did not. Too sad.

Kathryn Casey said...

The Houston Chronicle ran an editorial yesterday backing the investigation. They're contending that CPS's mandate is too confused, since its goal is to keep the family together, and that law enforcement should have been brought in to investigate instead. Whatever happened here, we need to figure out how to keep it from happening again!

FleaStiff said...

Contrast this with the father who bought a beer for himself and a lemonade for his son at a baseball stadium. The poor dad who learned the hard way what was meant by "hard lemonade" as opposed to "lemonade" had to move out of the house while CPS investigated and his court-date finally came around.
Yet an active herpes infection gets an administrative yawn.
A woman claims 'no boyfriends' but obviously she valued something about his money or his anatomy and she valued it above telling the truth and above the safety of her children.

cheryl said...

You're kinda right on this one Flea.
About the social workers. It still doesn't excuse the mothers' actions (or in-actions)against these poor children.

Ann-Tx said...

After serving only 19 months of a 20 year (240 months) sentence, Abigail Young is in "Parole Review" status as of 2/21/12. If the Texas Board of Pardons & Paroles grant her parole, she could be a free woman in August, 2012.

Every one is urged to write letters protesting her parole.

Serving 19 months for the brutal, horrific death of her daughter, 4-year-old Emma Thompson, is not justice for Emma.

In July, 2010, Abigail Young was sentenced to 20 years to be served in a Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) prison.

She immediately appealed her case in the Fourteenth Court of Appeals. On 1-10-12, the 14th Court affirmed (denied) her appeal. Then she filed a "Motion for Rehearing". On 2-29-12, the
14th Court of Appeals "Overruled" her motion.

As of 2/21/12, Young is in Parole Review status!

I wish Women in Crime would do an update to Abigail Young's story.

Please write a letter protesting parole for Abigail Young. You do NOT have to be a Texas resident to submit a protest letter for review by the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles.

Letters can me mailed, e-mailed or FAX and MUST include Abigail Young's pertinent TDCJ info:

Texas Dept. of Criminal Justice
Victim Services Division
8712 Shoal Creek Blvd., Ste. 265
Austin, TX 78757-6899


Fax: (512) 452-0825

Reference: Young, Abigail
State ID: 08428403
TDCJ ID: 01668233
Placed on Parole Review: 2/21/12

There is a thread set up for Emma Thompson on Reality Chatter. It is titled:
Emma Thompson -- Deceased 6/27/09

There are currently 41 pages and is kept updated. Info about Abigail Young's parole review can be found there.

KBTX (CBS) - Bryan, Tx featured info about Abigail Young's parole review on the 6 and 10 p.m. news last night (3-9-12). They have posted an article and the news video to their website:
KBTX - Bryan, TX 3-9-12

"How Abigail Young is Eligible for Parole after Serving 19 Months in Jail "

Also, KWHI (AM Radio) - Brenham, Tx had info about Abigail Young's "parole review" on the morning, noon and evening news today (3-10-12). There is a brief article posted on their website.

Brenham, Tx is Abigail Young's hometown.

We are working with some of the mainstream Houston media and hope to get coverage about Abigail Young's "Parole Review" by next week.

Please write a letter protesting Abigail Young's parole.

19 months out of a 20 year sentence is not justice for Emma Thompson!