WNYT.com

Attorneys for mother accused in 5-year-old's death wants charge dropped

Posted at: 02/27/2013 4:20 PM
Updated at: 02/27/2013 6:36 PM
By: Mark Mulholland

 

GLENS FALLS - Jennie Mattison is just 24-years old. If convicted of the most serious charge, reckless endangerment in the first degree, the young mother could go to prison for up to seven years. 

The reckless endangerment charge accuses Mattison of acting with depraved indifference toward human life for not seeking immediate medical attention for her 5-year-old son, Gary Carpenter, who suffered from a traumatic brain injury and later died.

Mattison's live-in boyfriend, Brandon Warrington, is accused of angrily slamming the little boy's head to the floor. Warren County District Attorney Kate Hogan claims Mattison lied about the injury and chose to preserve her boyfriend's freedom rather than protect her child's health.

"And it's troubling because you wonder where is that biological gear," said Hogan. "The gear where you're supposed to be the lioness protecting your cub. Instead you're throwing your cub to the predator."

Mattison's defense attorneys argued in court Wednesday that she didn't know the boy was injured.

"Brain injuries are not readily apparent to laypeople. Often-times the injuries are slow to onset. Especially in cases of subdural hematoma and the like," said attorney Philip Taylor as he urged Judge John Hall to dismiss the reckless endangerment charge. 

Taylor accuses the D.A. of repeatedly and wrongly charging depraved indifference. Pointing out that the Court of Appeals has recently sided with defendants.

"The definition of insanity often quoted in popular culture is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. In this case, it's insane for the people to expect a different result."

This case has stirred up intense feelings in the community and extra security was deployed to the courtroom Wednesday as arguments were made. Mattison's co-counsel, Tucker Stanclift, points out that although some might consider her alleged actions "deplorable," they are not what the law considers depraved indifference.

The judge reserved decision on the motion to dismiss.