Hey #TeamEMMA, on Tuesday, August 19th, 2014, Brandie Baldwin appeared in front of Judge Dotson in Wise County Circuit Court and entered a plea. Brandie pleaded guilty to the felony murder charge and also guilty to the other 3 felony child abuse charges. Brandie was sentenced to 30 years for the 2nd degree murder charge, with 16 years of it suspended and she will serve 14 years in prison.
She was also sentenced the maximum on the felony child abuse charges and those will run concurrently with murder charge. After Brandie spends the next decade in prison, she will have supervised probation for 5 years also waiving her 4th amendment rights and then also serve another 10 years unsupervised probation after that.
Now keep in mind that Brandie will have 16 years suspended on the shelf after she serves 14 years in Virginia DOC. And when and if Brandie gets out of prison, if she gets in trouble, she will be spending the remaining 16 years in prison after that.
It is with a heavy heart that I agreed to this decision but I made a choice and it was what was best for my family. People don't have to like it but they should respect it. Brandie pleaded guilty to the charges with an Alford Plea, which technically means that she does not admit her guilty but agrees that the commonwealth had enough evidence for her conviction on the charges. Also because she is a coward and showed almost no emotion whatsoever today except for herself smiling while being taken out of the courthouse.
*An Alford Pleas is whereby a defendant in a criminal case does not admit the criminal act and asserts innocence and in entering an Alford plea, the defendant admits that the evidence the prosecution has would be likely to persuade a judge or jury to find the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
So with this being said, Brandie was convicted and she was sentenced during the same time today, during which I took the stand and read a letter to her, to the judge, and to the courtroom for my victims impact statement to express how what has happened has affected my family. I also wanted to make sure that because of this decision, that while it's not what I think is fair under the circumstances, Emma gets some justice and does not leave it to chance by them, meaning her defense, making Emma's trial out to be something that it should not be, which is and has always been about Emma and not about me Emma's father or about her Brandie being some kind of victim of Juwan's downward spiral.
I had to sit and listen to Ron Elkins tell Judge Dotson almost all of the evidence that they had including Brandie being involved with failed drug tests with social service in March 2012 (which was never disclosed to me until now) and about Juwan telling Brandie that she would have to accept the fact he was a daily IV drug user, that Brandie while before she went to walmart the day Emma was attacked went to a drug deal to purchase mass quantity of drugs.
To also hear members of her family who had taken similar pictures and reported her to social services in September at Emma's birthday party, that Emma was terrified of Juwan and scared. And still yet nothing happened to protect them. About gruesome details of Emma being abused by Juwan and Brandie witnessing it first hand, including her lip being torn inside her mouth and healing because of scar tissue that had formed before she was murdered from being hit in the face,
I also had to hear about all the times agencies were involved but still failed Emma and it broke my heart to pieces. It broke my heart to pieces to hear that Juwan had broken Emma's right arm causing a spiral fracture and not from falling off the porch like they told everyone. Brandie knew the whole time of what was happening and so did members of her family and NO ONE WHATSOEVER attempted to contact me or my attorneys to let me know, THAT IS FACT. You cannot dispute it because they have the evidence of it.
After I read my victims impact statement, Brandie had her attorneys assistant read a poem she wrote for Emma because she didn't have the courage to do it herself or even apologize for what she had done to Emma and our daughter because she is a coward. No emotions or remorse regarding Emma's life or the physical abuse that she witnessed by Juwan and other things that has happened.
With this all being said, my babygirl got some justice in January 2014 when Juwan plead guilty to her murder and was sentenced to life plus ten. He is never getting out. He is going to die in prison. That is part of Emma's justice.
And today, Emma got some more justice, far from what I expected but my family and I can deal with this as we move forward with our lives. I will attach my victims impact statement for you to read. Trust me, I know it's not enough time, but I am not leaving Emma's justice to chance either. I am her Daddy and I had a choice to make for my family and I made one.
Thank you all for your love and support. My family and I appreciate everything everyone has done for us throughout the past 22 months. I cannot say enough how hard Emma's team of investigators and prosecutors have worked so hard with due diligence the past 22 months to make this happen for Emma and my family. They have put their hearts and souls into this, for that I am grateful with a debt of gratitude I will never be able to repay in this life. They know who they are and Emma will always be in their hearts.
Also, try your very best to keep hateful comments about your feelings regarding the sentencing off of this post please. Please respect that. If you want to vent frustration, please do so somewhere else if possible.
Much love to you all. <3 #JusticeForEmma
This is my victims impact statement:
"The fact that I am even having to read this letter that I have written for your sentencing in the murder and abuse of our daughter Emma, is disgusting and it sickens me.
For the past 22 months since Emma was murdered, we have been terrorized in our hearts and minds because of the loss of Emma in our lives.
We have not been able to live normal lives, nor will we ever after what happened to Emma and to our family.
It disgusts me to know that you lied to me and my family and kept things from us, incidents that you knowingly knew I should have known during 2012, that could have prevented the death of our daughter Emma and the abuse of Breanna and Kadence.
It disgusts me that you know how much I love my daughters, and how hard that I fought to see them, that you still did everything you could to prevent me from knowing what was really happening and what you were really doing with Juwan Moore.
It sickens me to think about it. It sickens me to think about what Emma went through, what Breanna was put through, and what Kadence witnessed in that house and whatever house of friends houses you were at or whoever they were left with so you could party Emma’s life away slowly.
It sickens me to know that Emma could not speak for herself and you were supposed to be the one to make sure that something like this never happened to our daughters, that Emma lost her life because other things like drugs and getting high were more important.
Now our families are destroyed for our lifetimes because of your actions and inactions along with Juwan Moore and both of your roles in Emma’s murder and the abuse of our children.
And know that while you are in prison, thinking about what you have done, thinking about Emma and our children, that our lives will continue to go on and you will miss out of the most important parts of their lives because of what happened to Emma. You have to live with that.
Emma did not get a deal with you and Juwan. Emma was not given a choice. Emma should have been given a choice, that’s why I had custody orders to ensure that our children would be protected from things like this happening to them. But you intentionally kept things from me and my attorneys. How many strikes did it take for Emma to lose her life because of your selfish actions and a failing system that was supposed to protect our children from being abused and murdered!
Now what do we do with our lives? We will continue to rebuild our lives without you in it. Your actions resulted in Emma’s death and now you have to face the consequences.
This has been an everlasting nightmare for us. And it’s something that we all relive every single day. And it’s something that I will never forget, no matter how hard I try.
It breaks my heart to remember how hard I tried to be a part of my daughter’s lives only to have Emma taken from me.
I remember the nights that I spent with Emma in the PICU at Knoxville as she was hooked up to life support while waiting for doctors to tell me that she was dead. I remember holding her in my arms the night she was taken off of the ventilator.
It was not long after the machines were turned off, that Emma’s heart stopped beating and her body became cold and I felt Emma’s temperature drop, it was the worst day of my life. I continued to hold her as she layed in my arms because I didn’t want to let her go. I layed her in the hospital bed and they gave me a lock of her hair.
Emma will always be in my heart, forever until the end of my time.
Just want you to know that no matter what you have said about me as a father, or anything else anyone has said or will say or has yet to say about me and my daughters, that
Emma loved me, not because she had to, but because I am her Daddy and I always will be. She told me that she loved me and I told her that I loved her, to the stars. And my daughters love their Daddy and I love my babygirls and that is something, no matter how hard anyone tries, will ever take away from us or change the way they feel about me.
Emma is loved and she always will be, I have made sure of that. And Emma will always have a voice. I know you will never forget her name and you will never forget her face. May it be the first thing you see when you wake up in the morning and may it be the last thing you see before you fall asleep at night.
I think you deserve to spend the rest of your life in prison but Emma is getting some justice and you are going to serve the next 14 years in prison thinking about what you did to Emma, our daughters, my family and your own family.
Emma will always be everything that is most special and beautiful in this world.
And that is something that no one can ever take from her."
so with that being said, my statement on behalf of Emma was heard throughout that entire courthouse to the foundations and to the skies. I did what I had to do for my babygirl Emma and I always will no matter what. This chapter of our lives is closed for now and we are going to begin writing the new one as soon as I get back to Cincinnati.
Emma, until I see you again, I will love you always & forever until the end of time. Because you are everything in this world that is perfect, special, and beautiful and you always will be.
I love you to the stars Emma, forever my baby you will be.
<3 #JusticeForEmma #TeamEMMA #ToTheStars