After 2 decades on death row a woman convicted in 1995 for the murder of a local child has admitted her guilt. That admission will now allow her to eventually go free as part of a controversial plea deal.
Friday morning Cathy Lynn Henderson was sentenced to 25 years in prison. She will be released in less than 4 years. That's because Henderson ho has been locked up for 21 years is getting credited with time served. The family of the child she murdered did not approve of the deal. During the victim's statement period, known as Elocution, Brandon's grandmother told Henderson they could no longer hold back the 21 years of pent of range hurt and anger they have felt.
"Baby Brandon is an infant who lies moldering in a casket 6 feet down in the cold ground, and you put him there," said Ida Baugh.
The case dates back to 1994, when 3 month old Brandon Baugh was killed. Henderson originally claimed he fell from her arms and hit his head. Bandon's body was found in a shallow grave near temple and she was captured in Missouri.
"You are a monster and deserve to be behind bars the rest of your life... You've shown absolutely no remorse, and only care about yourself. You should've been executed many years ago but due to unfortunate decision the trial was overturned. Brandon did not get the Justice he deserves and you did not get the punishment you deserve," said Brandon's mother Melissa Baugh.
An appeals court recently overturned Henderson's sentence because of questions about his autopsy.
"This case was only overturned by junk science, witness tampering, and absolute fraud committed on the Texas court of appeals," said Eryn Baugh, Brandon's Father.
Travis County D.A. Rosemary Lehmburg decided not to seek the death penalty and later decided to cut a plea deal. The Baugh family said they were notified about the deal 2 weeks ago, and prosecutors did not ask for their approval.
"It... was fumbled," said Eryn Baugh.
According to a statement released by the DA's office the sentence was "just" and the deal "spared the victim's family the anguish of another trial."
Defense attorney Jon Evans said he was ready to take advantage of the prosecution's missteps.
"The science has changed so much in the last 20 years, it's hard to comprehend, same type of developments have happened with DNA, arson evidence, true biomechanics evidence which is true here, where the allegations were the child had been killed, whether or not there was a head injury by shaken baby syndrome, whether or not the child had been injured in a fall," said Evans.
With her admission of guilt the defense strategy wasn't needed. There also was no apology from Henderson who was led away by deputies to complete her time in prison.