Judge Goode remains under fire
Wed, 18 Feb 2009 03:21:53 GMT —
Judge Kenneth Good was expected to reconsider a controversial decision on Tuesday. One involving the day care worker accused of slapping a young child, leaving her severely injured. Talisha Smith plead guilty to slapping seven-month old Kendra Gaddie. The child's brain hemorrhaged and she now has developmental problems. Goode sentenced Smith to five years probation. Something the Gaddie family find's astonishing.
"Judge Goode should have the strength and courage to stand up and say, 'I am human and I made a mistake,'" said Kendra's mother Michelle Gaddie.
A mistake both Patrick and Michelle Gaddie have lived with for several months.
"This wasn't a misdemeanor. This was a violent felony," recalls Michelle.
She relives the moment last March, when she picked up her daughter from Smith's care.
"My daughter made a sound, a cry that I've never heard before," said Michelle. "And its something no parent wants to hear, it sounded like a wounded animal."
Gaddie doesn't buy Smith's defense claiming it was an accident. Instead Gaddie believes it was a malicious act.
"She shook her first, then she struck her; or she struck her and then she shook her," said Michelle. "So there is a period of time in between both acts she could have stopped herself."
Attorney Jerry Finney represents Smith, and can't comment on the case. But Finney knows his client may soon find her freedom at risk.
"This matter has not yet reached it's final disposition, because the state has filed a motion for reconsideration," said Attorney Finney. "That motion for reconsideration is still outstanding."
Despite the setback, the Gaddie's vow to continue fighting for their daughter.
"When Kendra is 16 and looks at me, and asks me 'What did you do when this happened to me?' I want to be able to say we did everything we possibly could to help you and other children," said Patrick.
An effort to save other families from suffering similar pain.
Last month Greenville Senator Mike Fair, introduced a bill in response to the Gaddie case. It would mandate a two-year prison sentence for day care workers convicted of child abuse.