Accused Killer's Adult Son Changes His Story

Relates to:
Date: 2007-03-02
Source: kitsapsun.com

Accused Killer's Adult Son Changes His Story

Michael Forder recanted earlier statements about his mother, Kimberly, in the case of alleged homicide by abuse.

JOSH FARLEY, jfarley@kitsapsun.com
Friday, March 2, 2007

     
What's this? A 24-year-old Seabeck man who had agreed to testify in the homicide-by-abuse trial of his mother in exchange for a shorter sentence in his own criminal case has recanted his previous statements, according to Kitsap County prosecutors.

As a result, Michael V. Forder, 24, was given an 8½-year sentence Monday for second-degree rape of a family member instead of the three-year reduced sentence prosecutors had recommended in exchange for his testimony at his mother’s trial. He was sentenced in Judge M. Karlynn Haberly’s court.

His mother, Kimberly Ann Forder, 44, is charged in the death of her 8-year-old adopted son, Christopher, in 2002. She is accused of homicide by abuse in incidents Sheriff Steve Boyer has called "torture" and is slated to go on trial in April, though delays are possible.

The family had lived in a Seabeck-area home when Christopher Forder died. They later moved to Africa as independent Christian missionaries, and Kitsap County sheriff’s detectives arrested Kimberly Forder when she returned to Oregon for medical treatment in August.

Her husband, Robert, and their seven adopted children remain in Liberia, according to court documents.

Michael Forder, one of Kimberly’s biological children, pleaded guilty Jan. 2 and had made a taped statement to prosecutors, documents said. But on Jan. 18, prosecutors learned that Michael Forder had written a letter "recanting the statements he made in a previous taped interview," according to an affidavit filed by Kitsap County deputy prosecutor Kelly Montgomery.

The affidavit said Michael Forder’s letter showed the defendant "attempting to take responsibility for the crimes that Kimberly Forder is presently charged with and also his intention to not testify truthfully in that matter."

Michael Forder will serve 102 months in a state prison, court documents said.

There have been several developments in his mother’s case since her arrest last August.

At the end of December, her bail was reduced to $500,000 from $1 million. Shortly thereafter, another jail inmate told authorities that Forder said she’d be "gone" if she posted bail. Her bail was then reinstated to $1 million.

Montgomery said much work still must be done to prepare for trial. She added: "No matter how you look at this case, it is one of the most heartbreaking ones I’ve ever seen. For the victim, for the defendant and for the public."

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