Child Murdered While in Foster Care, Was this Really in the Best Interest of the Child????


By Bret H. McCormick
bmccormick@thetowntalk.com
(318) 487-6346
Brittany Compton feels like she’s been living a nightmare for the past 12-plus months.

Not only was she accused of being an abusive parent and had her two daughters taken from her, but her youngest, 3-year-old Kennedy Compton, died a month after being put in foster care.
According to the autopsy report, Kennedy’s cause of death was blunt force trauma to the chest and, more than a year later, the Alexandria Police Department still is investigating her death as a homicide.
“It’s a really tough case because there’s just not a lot of evidence,” said Sgt. Ronald Besson, APD’s public information officer.
“It’s taken a lot of my energy,” Brittany Compton said. “It’s been sleepless nights. There have been a lot of sleepless nights.”
While police have not been able to make much progress on criminal charges, the family has decided to pursue civil charges against the Louisiana Office of Community Services and the two people they claim are responsible for Kennedy’s death — Gwendolyn Williams, the foster mom, and O’Neil Wesley, who was watching Kennedy on the day she died.
The family’s attorney, Jay Luneau, filed a wrongful death lawsuit on May 6 in 9th Judicial District Court. The lawsuit alleges that the Office of Community Services, Williams and Wesley all are liable and culpable in Kennedy’s death.
Kennedy’s death, the lawsuit alleges, was caused by negligence of the OCS for removing Kennedy from her mother and placing her in an unequipped foster home, by Williams for failing to supervise Kennedy and leaving her in Wesley’s care, and by Wesley for “beating and kicking” Kennedy and then failing to get her proper medical care.
Compton, 23, enlisted in the U.S. Army in April 2008, and after serving several months in Iraq, was stationed at Fort Polk with her husband, Kevin. In February 2009, the couple’s two daughters, Kaitlyn and Kennedy, who had been living with Brittany Compton’s mother in Memphis, Tenn., also came to Fort Polk to live with their parents.
(2 of 3)

Two months later, the girls were placed under the protection of the Office of Community Services after Brittany Compton was reported for being abusive, an alleggation she disputes. Instead, she said, she disciplined her children by spanking them while they were acting out at day care.

“Someone in the system overreacted and removed these children from their mother because she spanked them,” Luneau said.
Brittany Compton said she remembers April 9, 2009, “vividly, like it was yesterday.” That’s when she was arrested and her children were placed into protective custody.
Less than a month later, on May 8, 2009, Kennedy was dead. On that day, Williams had taken Kaitlyn to Leesville for the weekly visit with her mother, but Kennedy was left behind because she wasn’t feeling well.
“I was like, ‘Where is Kennedy? Where is my other child at?'” Brittany Compton said. “(Williams) said, ‘I left her with a sitter because yesterday I took her to the doctor and she had an ear infection and throat infection.'”
That afternoon, Wesley called Williams and told him that Kennedy was having trouble breathing. Williams said to call 911, and during the call, Wesley told authorities that the girl had become unresponsive, and she later died.
Emergency responders told police that Kennedy’s body had bruises on it, and Williams told authorities that “was because she received Kennedy from an abusive home,” according to the police report.
Luneau and the Compton family dispute that claim, and Luneau said there was no mention of bruises during Kennedy’s doctor’s appointment the day before her death. Instead, the family alleges in their lawsuit that Wesley beat Kennedy to death.
“People who work for OCS have a very difficult job,” Luneau. “It’s certainly not a job that I could do. But those people who do that job have a serious responsibility, and they have to make sure they don’t put those children in harm’s way.”
Attempts to reach Williams and Wesley for comments were unsuccessful.
Brittany Compton and her family have grown frustrated that more than a year after Kennedy’s death, there still is no resolution.
(3 of 3)

“We just want the person responsible for this (brought to justice),” she said. “If Mrs. Gwen is not the responsible party, she knows what happened. She knows what went on in her home.”

“It’s just been like it doesn’t matter,” said Patsy Riddle, Brittany Compton’s aunt, of the police investigation into Kennedy’s death. Besson disputes that the case isn’t important, and he said Alexandria police are actively seeking a resolution.
Luneau said his clients would like to have the case resolved as soon as possible, but he believes the investigators are working hard to solve it.
“I’m a little surprised it has not moved quicker than it has,” Luneau said. “Certainly my clients would like to see it move much quicker to get justice and resolution.”
Alexandria detectives have settled on Wesley as the prime suspect, Besson said. However, Wesley won’t confess to the killing and won’t submit to a polygraph test either.
Williams did submit to a polygraph, which was delivered by Besson, and he said that Williams passed and was “telling the truth.”

Detectives don’t have sufficient evidence to make an arrest and go to trial, Besson said, adding that the case is active.
“Hopefully, we can resolve it,” he said.
Until there’s a resolution, however, Brittany Compton will continue fighting.
She received an honorable medical discharge from the Army this month — she’s suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder stemming from her daughter’s death — and has moved to Memphis with her family. But she won’t give up on finding justice.
“It’s worth the trip coming back and forth,” Compton said. “That’s something I am willing to make. I don’t care how long it will take.”
“The last thing my client wants to see is her child’s killer go free,” Luneau said. “It’s very important for a person who’s a victim to see what happened to their child.”
Two months later, the girls were placed under the protection of the Office of Community Services after Brittany Compton was reported for being abusive, an alleggation she disputes. Instead, she said, she disciplined her children by spanking them while they were acting out at day care.

“Someone in the system overreacted and removed these children from their mother because she spanked them,” Luneau said.
Brittany Compton said she remembers April 9, 2009, “vividly, like it was yesterday.” That’s when she was arrested and her children were placed into protective custody.
Less than a month later, on May 8, 2009, Kennedy was dead. On that day, Williams had taken Kaitlyn to Leesville for the weekly visit with her mother, but Kennedy was left behind because she wasn’t feeling well.
“I was like, ‘Where is Kennedy? Where is my other child at?'” Brittany Compton said. “(Williams) said, ‘I left her with a sitter because yesterday I took her to the doctor and she had an ear infection and throat infection.'”
That afternoon, Wesley called Williams and told him that Kennedy was having trouble breathing. Williams said to call 911, and during the call, Wesley told authorities that the girl had become unresponsive, and she later died.
Emergency responders told police that Kennedy’s body had bruises on it, and Williams told authorities that “was because she received Kennedy from an abusive home,” according to the police report.
Luneau and the Compton family dispute that claim, and Luneau said there was no mention of bruises during Kennedy’s doctor’s appointment the day before her death. Instead, the family alleges in their lawsuit that Wesley beat Kennedy to death.
“People who work for OCS have a very difficult job,” Luneau. “It’s certainly not a job that I could do. But those people who do that job have a serious responsibility, and they have to make sure they don’t put those children in harm’s way.”
Attempts to reach Williams and Wesley for comments were unsuccessful.
Brittany Compton and her family have grown frustrated that more than a year after Kennedy’s death, there still is no resolution.
“We just want the person responsible for this (brought to justice),” she said. “If Mrs. Gwen is not the responsible party, she knows what happened. She knows what went on in her home.”

“It’s just been like it doesn’t matter,” said Patsy Riddle, Brittany Compton’s aunt, of the police investigation into Kennedy’s death. Besson disputes that the case isn’t important, and he said Alexandria police are actively seeking a resolution.
Luneau said his clients would like to have the case resolved as soon as possible, but he believes the investigators are working hard to solve it.
“I’m a little surprised it has not moved quicker than it has,” Luneau said. “Certainly my clients would like to see it move much quicker to get justice and resolution.”
Alexandria detectives have settled on Wesley as the prime suspect, Besson said. However, Wesley won’t confess to the killing and won’t submit to a polygraph test either.
Williams did submit to a polygraph, which was delivered by Besson, and he said that Williams passed and was “telling the truth.”

Detectives don’t have sufficient evidence to make an arrest and go to trial, Besson said, adding that the case is active.
“Hopefully, we can resolve it,” he said.
Until there’s a resolution, however, Brittany Compton will continue fighting.
She received an honorable medical discharge from the Army this month — she’s suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder stemming from her daughter’s death — and has moved to Memphis with her family. But she won’t give up on finding justice.
“It’s worth the trip coming back and forth,” Compton said. “That’s something I am willing to make. I don’t care how long it will take.”
“The last thing my client wants to see is her child’s killer go free,” Luneau said. “It’s very important for a person who’s a victim to see what happened to their child.”
http://www.thetowntalk.com/article/20100601/NEWS01/306010059/Military-family-demanding-answers-about-child-who-died-in-foster-care

About yvonnemason

Background:  The eldest of five children, Yvonne was born May 17, 1951 in Atlanta, Georgia. Raised in East Point, Georgia, she moved to Jackson County, Ga. until 2006 then moved to Port St. Lucie, Florida where she currently makes her home.  Licensed bounty hunter for the state of Georgia. Education:  After a 34 year absence, returned to college in 2004. Graduated with honors in Criminal Justice with an Associate’s degree from Lanier Technical College in 2006. Awards:  Nominated for the prestigious GOAL award in 2005 which encompasses all of the technical colleges. This award is based not only on excellence in academics but also leadership, positive attitude and the willingness to excel in one’s major. Affiliations:  Beta Sigma Phi Sorority  Member of The Florida Writer’s Association – Group Leader for St Lucie County The Dream:  Since learning to write at the age of five, Yvonne has wanted to be an author. She wrote her first novel Stan’s Story beginning in 1974 and completed it in 2006. Publication seemed impossible as rejections grew to 10 years. Determined, she continued adding to the story until her dream came true in 2006. The Inspiration:  Yvonne’s brother Stan has been her inspiration and hero in every facet of her life. He was stricken with Encephalitis at the tender age of nine months. He has defied every roadblock placed in his way and has been the driving force in every one of her accomplishments. He is the one who taught her never to give up The Author: Yvonne is currently the author of several novels, including:  Stan’s Story- the true story of her brother’s accomplishments, it has been compared to the style of Capote, and is currently being rewritten with new information for re-release.  Tangled Minds - a riveting story about a young girl’s bad decision and how it taints everyone’s life around her yet still manages to show that hope is always possible. This novel has been compared to the writing of Steinbeck and is currently being written as a screenplay. This novel will be re-released by Kerlak Publishing in 2009  Brilliant Insanity – released by Kerlak Publishing October 2008  Silent Scream – Released by Lulu.com October 2008- Slated to be made into a movie Yvonne’s Philosophy in Life - “Pay it Forward”: “In this life we all have been helped by others to attain our dreams and goals. We cannot pay it back but what we can do is ‘pay it forward’. It is a simple
This entry was posted in Abuse by Foster Parents and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Child Murdered While in Foster Care, Was this Really in the Best Interest of the Child????

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Child Murdered While in Foster Care, Was this Really in the Best Interest of the Child???? « How Child Protection Services Buys and Sells Our Children -- Topsy.com

  2. Pingback: Blogs Search Engine

  3. Pingback: DCF это « Эхо блогосферы

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s