Thursday, September 30, 2010
The mother of a Newton boy who allegedly died at the hands of her live-in boyfriend is going to prison. Kathryn Dale was sentenced in Harvey County for the child abuse death of her son, 19-month-old Vincent Hill.
Dale was scolded by the judge Thursday afternoon, who told her that she could have saved her son's life, but instead, left the little boy with her live-in boyfriend, Chad Carr, who had a history of past abuse. Worse yet, she participated in the abuse.
"You never feel good when a mother is sent to prison for not protecting her son who ends up being brutally murdered, but I feel that justice was done," said Harvey County Attorney David Yoder after the hearing.
Dale sobbed as the judge sent her to prison for a little more than three years.
"I feel she needed to face appropriate consequences for failing to protect her son when he most needed it," Yoder said.
The family of Dale's live-in boyfriend, Chad Carr, doesn't believe three years is long enough. Dale eventually admitted to abusing Hill by slapping him in the face repeatedly and cutting his mouth with a fork to punish him for not eating his food properly.
"I don't think it's long enough," explained Jennifer Lopez, Carr's mother-in-law. "I believe she has known... my belief is that she has been the one that has done this. I pray that the truth will be out."
Carr's family staunchly defends the man, saying Hill was being abused long before Carr met Dale. They say she should get the same amount of time that Carr will likely get for murdering the boy.
"I'm a mother of five children and I'm a mother of five grandchildren and I babysat many kids and never laid a hand on them," Lopez said. "I believe in my heart of hearts that she should serve, too."
Dale was led away after hearing the sentence against her Thursday. At one point, her lawyer called her the victim. Greg Barker declined an interview with reporters.
"I think she has continually downplayed the seriousness of the situation leading up to his death," Yoder said.
Chad Carr is scheduled for a pre-trial hearing next Thursday. He has pleaded not guilty to a charge of murder. His trial is expected to get underway by the end of October. As part of a plea deal, Dale is expected to testify against him.