Palmdale mother pleads to torturing children

Date: 2014-12-16

by M. Dilworth

PALMDALE – A 52-year-old Palmdale woman accused of tying up and beating her two adopted children with electrical cords and a hammer has pleaded no contest.

Ingrid Brewer pleaded no contest Monday to two counts of torture, and she is expected to be sentenced to seven years to life in state prison, according to Ricardo Santiago of the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

Brewer has been in police custody since Jan. 16, 2013. She was arrested hours after her two adopted children were found huddled in a blanket, under a parked vehicle, about a quarter of a mile away from their Palmdale home. The 8-year-old boy and 7-year-old girl told detectives they ran away from home because they were tired of being tied up and beaten by Brewer, according to Sgt. Brian Hudson of the Sheriff’s Department’s Special Victims Bureau.

“Even our most veteran child abuse detectives were appalled at what we came across in this incident,” Hudson said at the time.

On Jan. 18, 2013, Brewer pleaded not guilty to two counts of torture, two counts of child abuse, two counts of assault with a deadly weapon and two counts of battery with serious bodily injury.

At a preliminary court hearing in March 2013, sheriff’s detectives and a registered nurse gave testimony on the abuse the children said they suffered at the hands of “Mama Ingrid.”

The children told detectives Brewer locked them in separate bedrooms while she was at work, and they were forced to use their trash cans as toilets, according to testimony from Detective Troy Bowser of the Sheriff’s Department’s Special Victims Bureau.

The 8-year-old boy said he’d been beaten with ropes, pipes, coat hangers, belts and a hammer, Bowser testified.

On Jan. 15, 2013, the boy managed to free himself from his room; then he freed his sister, and the two ran away from the Palmdale home, Bowser testified.

The children were found around 1 a.m. the next morning, when temperatures were in the mid-20s.

Both children had more than 100 injuries throughout their bodies, including injuries consistent with being tied up and being hit with a hammer, electrical cords, coat hangers, pipes, ropes and belts, according to testimony from Mary Reina, a registered nurse at Antelope Valley Hospital.

Detectives spoke with Brewer after the children were found, and Brewer said she was having “disciplinary issues” and that she’d only locked the children in their rooms at night to keep them from “stealing food,” according to Bowser’s testimony.

Following the preliminary court hearing March 5, 2013, Brewer was ordered to stand trial on all charges.

After Brewer pleaded no contest to the two torture counts Monday, prosecutors agreed to dismiss the remaining six felony charges. Sentencing is set for March 11, 2015.

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