Mother pleads guilty to child neglect after sons beat under care of drug-addicted husband

Local - 10/25/2013 12:38 PM by Karen Franklin
BECKLEY - A Raleigh County mother will spend as many as 13 years in prison after she admitted to leaving her two twin boys alone with her drug addicted husband.

Brandy Smallwood, 28, pled guilty to child neglect resulting in serious bodily injury and child neglect resulting in bodily injury. Both charges relate to the death of her 2-year-old son and the beating of her twin brother.

Back in February, Smallwood's twin boys were beat by husband James Green, 24, while the she went to pay a drug dealer for an "astounding amount" of Oxycodone, Prosecutor Kristen Keller told WOAY. One of the boys died from his injuries within 24 hours. Smallwood and Green had only been married for a day.

"To imagine a twin witnessing his twin brother being murdered, he was 2 years old," she said. That is old enough for a twin to be very, very attached and bonded, and that's just incomprehensible the damage that these two people did."

Keller said Smallwood had a special duty to protect her kids and displayed no reasonable duty of care. She has three other kids, who are 12, 7 and 3 years old, but because she is now defined by law as an "abusive parent," she will can no longer have contact with her youngest child and cannot live in the same home as her other kids.

"We don't have to worry about just one juror who might have a doubt, and most importantly, now we don't have to worry about an appeal," Keller told WOAY.

The prosecutor also spoke about what she called the "drug abuse excuse," that she believes may contribute to the problem but does not excuse or explain it.

"Being an Oxycodone addict would not cause one to suddenly become such a neglected parents that you would place your child in the position that these two infants were placed in," she said.

Smallwood faces a minimum prison sentence of two years plus fines. The biological father or her twin boys was not charged with any crime because he was incarcerated in Southern Regional Jail at the time of the crime, according to Keller.

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