Testimony continued Wednesday in the murder trial of a man accused of beating a 10-month-old child to death. James Boswell could face the death penalty if convicted of murdering Alexis Nephew who died in March 2003. A child advocacy group says while cases like this are not unusual, they are preventable. We take a look back at some past cases and at what the community can do to prevent tragedy.
Gone too soon. That's how hundreds of mourners felt back in 1999 as they said goodbye to little Draven Archer. Nearly two years after her funeral, John Henry Seeling was convicted of beating the five month old to death. Officials with the Center for the Prevention of Child Abuse say in most cases such attacks are triggered by a violent family history.
Director Bridget Logan said child who have been victims of abuse often become adults who abuse."If they've haven't received treatment or response to the abuse, they find it very easy to disassociate the pain that they felt. So when they become abusers they inflict harm on other children and have no remorse."
Like Seeling, 21-year-old Ronnie Palmer told police uncontrolled crying caused him to lose his temper. Now the Jackson county man is serving a life sentence for killing his infant daughter.. Experts warn families who feel they are at the breaking point need to get help.
"We have an array of services for families who are experiencing problems parenting or who are beginning to experience problems with abuse such as parenting classes, anger management," said Logan. "We have a resource library that's filled with information that families can utilize. It's very helpful for families when they can get the help that they need because so many of them feel like they're out there alone."
Tawander Broadhead is charged with killing her son Kendrick. The five year old boy's murder is just one of many cases where a child is believed to have been killed by parents or by people entrusted to care for them.
"It's important that the parents themselves to be in tune with the people that are responsible for their children's lives," said Logan.
About 12,000 cases of alleged abuse are referred to the Center for the Prevention of Child Abuse each year. All the cases come from the six southernmost counties.