BRANDON BAUGH - 3 months (1994) : Convicted - Cathy Lynn Henderson, Gatesville, TX

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BRANDON BAUGH - 3 months (1994) : Convicted - Cathy Lynn Henderson, Gatesville, TX

Post by TexasMommy on Sun Sep 15, 2013 5:17 am

Babysitter set to die for death of 3-month-old

The Associated Press
updated 5/27/2007 5:53:41 PM ET

GATESVILLE, Texas — A neighbor in a suburban Austin neighborhood appeared to be the perfect babysitter for Eryn Baugh’s infant son and his 2-year-old sister.

“She’s the most sweet, endearing person in the world and put forward this good Christian front,” Baugh said of Cathy Lynn Henderson, who lived two blocks away. “She could sell snow to an Eskimo.”

But just weeks after Henderson started working for the Baughs, 3-month-old Brandon was dead and Henderson had fled the state. The infant’s body was found buried 60 miles away with his skull crushed, wrapped in his yellow-trimmed white blanket and stuffed into a box that previously held Bartles & Jaymes wine coolers.

Henderson, 50, is set to die in less than three weeks for the 1994 slaying that made her one of the most hated women in Texas. She would be just the 12th woman among the nearly 1,100 convicted killers executed since capital punishment resumed in the United States in 1977.

Henderson insists Brandon died in an accidental fall and that her decision to bury him and flee was made in panic, not in cold blood.

‘I wasn’t thinking clearly’
“It’s apparent I wasn’t thinking clearly,” Henderson told The Associated Press recently from the state’s female death row outside Gatesville.

“I think I was in shock, disbelief. I just didn’t know what I was doing. That baby was dead. I didn’t want to deal with that. There was too much sorrow. It hurt, it hurt,” she said, tearing up. “When I look back at it, it does kind of look like I was guilty, doesn’t it?”

Henderson’s case has been championed by Sister Helen Prejean of “Dead Man Walking” fame.
Supporters say new engineering data interpreting Brandon’s skull fracture could better support Henderson’s contention the child’s death was an accident and her life should be spared.

“What I would like to happen is to either get a new trial or charge me with what I’m really guilty of, and murder is not one of them, even injury to a child is not one of them,” Henderson said.

“I think involuntary manslaughter, negligence, something in those areas, because I did not wake up to intentionally harm Brandon,” she said.

Henderson is scheduled to be executed on June 13. It was postponed from last month after her lawyers won a delay.

“We’re getting experts, a new kind of expert for head injuries,” said Prejean, based in New Orleans. “They look into the physics of it.”

Suspect recalls incident
Recalling that morning 13 years ago, Henderson said Brandon was cranky, so she was swinging him around to try to calm him.

“I fell. I stepped on a toy. He flew out of my hands. He hit the bottom of the garage, which had been converted to a playroom,” she said.

After hitting the concrete floor, he stopped breathing, she said. Henderson said she tried CPR for an hour.

Why not call 911?

“I knew that was a dead end,” she replied. “I had tried for too long myself. What good would it have been?”

She fled, driving Brandon’s sister and her own preschool daughter to the home of a relative, paying an 11-year-old there $10 to watch them.

“Even though I reacted abnormally, that doesn’t make me a bad person,” she said, crying. “I just didn’t want to face what happened. I felt responsible. I took a life. That is very hard to deal with, especially a child.”

Prosecutors disagree
Travis County prosecutors and Brandon’s parents aren’t buying it.

“If a child sustains an accidental fall, we’re going to freak out and get help,” prosecutor Dayna Blazey said. “We’re going to run to a neighbor, call 911. That’s human nature — not to put the baby in a wine cooler box, throw it in the trunk of a car and bury it in a shallow grave. Then she flees to Missouri and changes appearance.”

A medical examiner testified Brandon’s injuries were inconsistent with an accidental fall of about 4 feet but were the equivalent of a fall from a two-story building.

“We’re not talking about linear skull fractures,” Blazey said. “The entire back of his head was shattered.”

A change of mind
But in a new appeal filed late last week, Henderson’s lawyers included an affidavit from the medical examiner who had previously testified against her.

Dr. Roberto Bayardo, who retired last year as Travis County’s chief medical examiner, said based on new scientific evidence presented to him by the experts hired by Henderson’s legal team, he “cannot determine with a reasonable degree of medical certainty whether Brandon Baugh’s injuries resulted from an intentional act or an accidental fall.”

Eryn Baugh said Henderson had him completely fooled.

“Just tell me what happened that day. Tell me exactly what she did and why she did it. Then she can ask me for forgiveness. I’ll probably give it — once she drops the lies and tells the truth. There’s been too many years of lying. We just want her to come clean,” he said.

Henderson insisted she did her job well.

“I took good care of Brandon,” Henderson insisted. “In my mind, I thought I was doing the Baughs a favor by not having to tell them their son was dead.”

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Re: BRANDON BAUGH - 3 months (1994) : Convicted - Cathy Lynn Henderson, Gatesville, TX

Post by TexasMommy on Sun Sep 15, 2013 5:21 am

Woman convicted of killing infant no longer facing death

By Diane Jennings
10:22 am on September 11, 2013

One of Texas most infamous death row inmates, Cathy Lynn Henderson, will not face the death penalty when she is retried. According to the Associated Press, Travis County prosecutors have announced they will seek a life sentence in a retrial because of the evidence.

Henderson, now 56, was convicted in the 1994 death of 3-month old Brandon Baugh. Henderson, who was babysitting Baugh, told police she dropped him accidentally, then panicked. She wrapped the body in a blanket, placed him in a box and buried him in a field. She was apprehended several weeks later in Missouri.

A new trial was ordered because the medical examiner in the case testified in 2007, that changes in forensic science meant he could no longer determine if the child’s injuries were because of an intentional act or an accident.

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Re: BRANDON BAUGH - 3 months (1994) : Convicted - Cathy Lynn Henderson, Gatesville, TX

Post by TexasMommy on Sun Sep 15, 2013 5:25 am

Death penalty ruled out for Henderson retrial

Posted: 4:56 p.m. Monday, Sept. 9, 2013
By Chuck Lindell

Travis County prosecutors will not seek the death penalty when Cathy Lynn Henderson is retried for the 1994 death of an infant she was babysitting.

Henderson, who was once two days from execution for the death of 3-month-old Brandon Baugh, will be tried for capital murder and faces a potential sentence of life in prison, District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg said Monday.

“I just think it’s best considering the evidence we have,” Lehmberg said. “Considering what the jury will be hearing, I think that’s the wisest decision.”

Henderson was granted a new trial last December by a sharply divided Court of Criminal Appeals, which ruled that scientific advances raised doubts about testimony from prosecution experts about Brandon’s cause of death.

In the time since the ruling, Travis County prosecutors reviewed the original trial, the appeals court ruling, new evidence presented by Henderson’s legal team and other information to help determine what charge Henderson would face.

Lehmberg said she made her decision in recent days. “We will pursue capital murder but not pursue the death penalty in this second trial,” she said Monday.

Henderson, now 56, had claimed that Brandon died after slipping from her arms and falling about 4 feet to the tile-on-concrete floor of her kitchen. She said she panicked and buried the boy’s body in a Bell County field before fleeing to Missouri, where she was found and arrested 11 days later.

At Henderson’s 1995 trial, then-medical examiner Roberto Bayardo testified that it was “impossible” to attribute the boy’s extensive head injury to an accidental fall. The only explanation, he said, was a deliberate and forceful blow struck by Henderson, adding that Brandon would have had to fall from “higher than a two-story building” to sustain a similar injury.

But Bayardo recanted in an affidavit included in Henderson’s 2007 appeal, saying advancements in the understanding of pediatric head injuries indicate that relatively short falls onto a hard surface could produce injuries similar to those he discovered during Brandon’s 1994 autopsy.

Henderson was two days from a June 13, 2007, execution date when the Court of Criminal Appeals halted proceedings — directing Travis County District Judge Jon Wisser, who had presided over her trial, to examine Henderson’s claims linked to biomechanics, an emerging science that measures the effect of force on the human body.

Wisser recommended that Henderson receive a new trial, finding that jurors would have been unlikely to convict Henderson had they known about new scientific discoveries into head trauma, including studies showing that falls of less than 4 feet can be lethal, producing complex skull fractures similar to what Brandon Baugh suffered.

In a 5-4 decision last December, the Court of Criminal Appeals agreed, ruling that “this … is a case that should be retried to ensure the accuracy of our verdicts and the integrity of our system.”

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Re: BRANDON BAUGH - 3 months (1994) : Convicted - Cathy Lynn Henderson, Gatesville, TX

Post by tinalovesnick on Sun Sep 15, 2013 3:58 pm

I'm not a believer. Not for a second. When my son was 18 months old, he pulled his newborn sister (who was 5lbs 9ozs small) right off the couch and she hit the tile floor. I took her to the doctor ASAP and she was okay. I have a really hard time believing that this was was an accident. Her actions after are that of a guilty person.
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Re: BRANDON BAUGH - 3 months (1994) : Convicted - Cathy Lynn Henderson, Gatesville, TX

Post by mermaid55 on Wed May 14, 2014 2:06 pm

Posted: 12:28 p.m. Friday, Oct. 18, 2013
Cathy Lynn Henderson hearing delayed until Nov.

By Jazmine Ulloa
American-Statesman Staff
Defense lawyers for Cathy Lynn Henderson, a former babysitter once on death row for the 1994 death of an infant, are still preparing for her second trial. A hearing in the case set for Friday has been reset to next month, though it likely will be pushed back again due to the holidays, court officials said.
Henderson, 56, did not appear in court before District Court Judge Karen Sage. Outside the courtroom, family members of Brandon Baugh, who was 3 months old when he died, said they were frustrated with the legal system.
“Justice delayed is justice denied,” said his grandmother, Ida Baugh. “We shouldn’t be here today.”
His father, Eryn Baugh, said his son would have turned 22 two days ago.
Henderson spent nearly two decades in prison for killing the baby before a sharply divided Court of Criminal Appeals overturned her capital murder conviction and sentence in December. The court upheld a recommendation by District Judge Jon Wisser that she have a new trial based on new scientific discoveries into the nature of head injuries.
“Testimony of the state’s chief experts was, at bottom, scientifically flawed,” Wisser wrote in findings dated May 14 and delivered to the appeals court last year.
Henderson claimed that Baugh died after slipping from her arms and falling about four feet to the concrete floor in her home in the Pflugerville area. She said she panicked, burying the boy’s body in a Bell County field before fleeing to Missouri, where she was found and arrested 11 days later.
The search for the boy’s body and the hunt for Henderson dominated headlines in February 1994.
Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg has said the new charge Henderson will face will be determined after a review of court records, evidence and the new testimony from Wisser’s hearings.
If the charge is capital murder, an additional determination will be made on whether to seek the death penalty, Lehmberg has said.
For background on this story read here.
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