PEKIN -- More than 18 years after killing her adopted infant daughter, a 44-year-old woman was sentenced Thursday to probation and community service for the crime.
Victoria Neal, who faced a possible prison term, pleaded guilty last October to a count of involuntary manslaughter in the death of 1-year-old Danielle Christine Neal. She admitted she violently shook the child Aug. 30, 1976, while visiting friends in Morton. Danielle Neal died three days later in a Peoria hospital, and her parents returned to their Toledo, Ohio, home.
A West Valley woman charged with murdering her 3-year-old son can visit her two living children under the supervision of authorities, a judge has ruled.
Darlene Bright, 32, spends one hour a week each with her son, Kory, and her daughter, Melanie Ann. The children's therapist recommended the visits, said defense attorney Ron Yengich.Bright is scheduled to stand trial for murder, a first-degree felony, on March 6. Prosecutors say she killed her adopted son, Kameron Bright, in April during a rage that left an 8-inch-long fracture in his skull and blood deposits in his eyes.
She told detectives the toddler "bumped his head" in a fall from a bunk bed.
But the boy would have had to fall several stories to suffer such injuries, an assistant medical examiner testified during a September court hearing. More likely, Kameron could have been shaken violently and then struck on his head with a blunt object, the doctor said.
Bright was released from jail in June and visits her two children at a foster home while their therapist supervises, according to court rec-ords.
April 3 - Kameron Bright, 3, died after his skull was fractured in two places and blood deposited between the brain and skull. Also present was retinal hemorrhaging in both eyes. Kameron's adoptive mother, Darlene Whiteman Bright, 32, 6388 W. 3100 South, was charged with murder. She told hospital officials the boy fell out of his bunk bed, but doctors and investigators say his death was no accident. The boy also had suffered a fracture "at least a few weeks" earlier, and it had been recently reinjured, according to a medical examiner. Trial is scheduled March 6. Motive: Anger. Method: Possible shaking, blow to the head.
[excerpt from an article which summarized 1994 deaths]
Dan and Kathy Blackburn had taken care of abandoned children in their small mission in Haiti. When the military took over the country, they decided to bring the children to the US. A narrative of how they managed to take the children to the US is presented.
author: Hurt, Henry
Publisher: Reader's Digest Association, Inc.
Publication Name: Reader's Digest
Subject: General interest
Todd R. Wallack
December 20, 1994
Dayton Daily News
After an emotional legal battle, Timothy and Kathleen Carroll are finally on the verge of regaining permanent custody of their sons Isaiah and Samuel, said Greene County Prosecutor William F. Schenck.
But before that happens, Schenck said he will do everything he can to complete the probe into the death of their son, Josiah, one of four Carroll children who died mysteriously between September 1992 and June 1993. The coroner has ruled Josiah's June 1993 death a homicide. "There are literally hundreds of questions left to be answered," Schenck said. "We have a very narrow window of time."
On Monday, the Carrolls met for hours with a Greene County grand jury and were expected to return to court today. Two weeks ago, Isaiah - the 12-year-old with cerebral palsy who said he saw his older brother James smother Josiah to death - testified before the grand jury.
Author: Patti Weaver; World Correspondent
STILLWATER -- A Cushing woman convicted of abusing her 4-year-old foster child -- whose skin was scalded off his feet and lower legs -- was given a one-year prison sentence Monday.
Anita June Franklin, 43, asked for probation or house arrest Monday in a letter to Associate District Judge Robert Murphy Jr., in which she called the incident ``this terrible tragedy.'' Murphy put her letter in the court file.
The penalty Murphy imposed was that set in September by a Payne County jury. Franklin could have received up to life in prison. Murphy allowed her to remain free on $5,000 bond until Jan. 6 -- when she is to report to the county jail.
Prosecutor Beth Pauchnik called the abuse ``an especially heinous crime because it was done against a helpless child ... who suffered pain for months and months.''
The victim, Justin Fields, now 5, required 18 months of medical treatment -- including skin grafts to both of his legs from the top of his feet to below his knees, Pauchnik said.
Isaiah Carroll - the severely disabled 12-year-old who informed authorities this summer that he witnessed his older brother kill another sibling - met with a Greene County grand jury Wednesday for more than an hour.
"Yes, I can confirm that a grand jury did meet today, and, yes, you just saw Isaiah Carroll leaving the courthouse. But I cannot tell you why he was here or what, if anything, was being considered by the grand jury," Greene County Prosecutor William F. Schenck said. "I can tell you that the investigation into the death of Josiah Carroll is continuing, and you may draw whatever conclusions you wish," he said.
In June, authorities said Isaiah, who has cerebral palsy, used gestures and other means to communicate that he witnessed his eldest brother, James, 18, smother 12-year-old Josiah on a bed June 14, 1993. Josiah also had cerebral palsy.
Behind the smiles of the friendly agreement in the Carroll case earlier this week, a specter hovers in the background.
The agreement, between defense attorneys and prosecutors, ended what could have been a long fight for the custody of two disabled Carroll children. It allows those children to visit their parents, Kathleen and Timothy Carroll, more frequently. The two boys have been in foster care since August 1993, in the wake of four suspicious deaths among the couple's 10 disabled youngsters. But amid the agreement's dozen provisions, one item stands out.
It put nationally known experts' sworn statements in the official Greene County Juvenile Court record - and paves the way for Greene County Prosecutor William F. Schenck to pursue prosecution in the June 14, 1993, death of Josiah Carroll, 12.
November 30, 1994
Dayton Daily News
There's a case out in Oregon that has fascinating parallels with the Carroll case in Greene County. In Oregon, a couple started small and eventually adopted more than 70 children, most of them apparently with special needs.
Diane and Dennis Nason received widespread attention and praise before the whole thing went too far and fell apart. They adopted children with physical deformities, Down Syndrome, cerebral palsy and all manner of problems. They received help from private financial benefactors who were impressed with their idealism. The family was feted on national television even as things were falling apart.
This story was told by ABC's Turning Point program last week. It featured a clip from a 1988 ABC program calling The Home Show, in which Diane Nason was named the show's first annual "Mother of the Year." Some 60 of her children were present.
BUCHAREST, Romania -- A British couple sentenced to prison for trying to smuggle a Romanian baby out of the country left for home yesterday four months after their arrest. ''We're very happy to be going home and only sorry we can't take the baby,'' Adrian Mooney, 42, said at Otopeni International Airport.
With tears in her eyes, Bernadette Mooney said the couple could no longer hope to adopt Monica Baiaram because "we have a criminal record."
Holding his legally adopted Romanian daughter, Grace, Mooney said he and his wife wanted to get home "and settle Grace down."
The Mooneys were arrested in July as they tried to smuggle the 5-month-old baby across the Romanian-Hungarian border. The child was placed in an orphanage and on Oct. 14, a court convicted the Mooneys of attempted illegal adoption and sentenced them to 28 months in prison.
A family desperately wanting two of its children back for Christmas is getting its wish - but not without trade-offs.
A weeklong custody hearing regarding Isaiah and Samuel Carroll of Cedarville was to have begun Monday but was canceled when attorneys reached an agreement allowing the boys to spend time with their parents during Christmas and New Year's. The boys' parents - Kathleen and Timothy Carroll - also may gain full custody of the pair in February, which would end 18 months of separation. But the agreement also bans the Carrolls' 18-year-old son, James, from being around Isaiah and Samuel during visits. This was requested because Isaiah implicated James in one of four mysterious deaths in the Carroll family.
The case involving the Cedarville family has lain dormant for months, but that question persists. "Almost every place I go, people still ask about the Carrolls," John H. Rion, Kathleen Carroll's lawyer, said last week.
Today, the latest chapter in the case begins to unfold in Greene County Juvenile Court.
The county Children Services Board is facing off against Kathleen and Timothy Carroll, who saw five adopted children die in nine months, in the case's biggest and most crucial custody showdown to date.
"We don't think there's a chance for reunification because the Carrolls have failed to remedy the conditions that caused these two handicapped children to be removed from the home in the first place," said Suzanne Schmidt, Greene County assistant prosecutor. "That's why Children Services is seeking permanent custody of these children, and termination of the Carrolls' parental rights."
BABY-SELLING CLAIMS PROMPT TRACKING SYSTEM FOR COUNTRY'S ORPHANS
LOS ANGELES TIMES
MOSCOW - Russia will suspend adoptions by foreign citizens starting Dec. 1 for an indefinite period to resolve allegations of baby-selling and other abuses.
"There are hundreds of swindlers representing private companies and agencies who are scouring Russia in search of children. Who knows what they are doing here?" Alexander Fedoseyev, head of the department in the Russian Education Ministry that supervises adoptions, announced earlier this month.
Fedoseyev and other officials said adoptions will be suspended to set up a tracking system for Russia's estimated 100,000 orphans and make sure Russian law is being applied.
Many Russian children's advocates and orphanage officials are anxious to see children settled with any family - even a foreign one - that can provide them a good home. However, officials are also frequently accused of falsifying medical certificates to help "export" healthy children, allegedly in exchange for bribes.
Author: Marcia Kunstel and Joseph Albright, Cox News Service
Moscow - Adopting Russian babies may be a much more difficult, risky process for American couples and Russians who try to help them when Russia's open-door policy on adoptions by foreigners slams shut and reopens. The U.S. Embassy tried Thursday to ward off an immediate surge of desperate Americans, appealing that they not rush to Moscow in hopes of getting a child before a Dec. 1 adoption moratorium takes effect. The proposal would abolish the requrement that only impaired children be available for foreign adoption. Instead, it would create a six- to nine-month waiting period for adoption by foreigners, to give Russian families the first opportunity to adopt the child.
By Marcia Kunstel and Joseph Albright STAFF CORRESPONDENTS
Moscow - Russia's open-door policy on adoptions by foreigners is slamming shut, and when it reopens, adopting babies may be a much more difficult, risky process for American couples and Russians who try to help them.