US Marijuana Party

Saturday, December 24, 2005

After 5 years, freedom for Christmas

Copyright 2005 Houston Chronicle

Brandy Del Briggs, 24, whose conviction for the death of her infant son was overturned last week, clung tightly to her mother Friday evening as she became a free woman for the first time in five years.

"I just want to go home to my family, and for this to finally be over with," said Briggs, who was greeted by her mother, grandmother and a friend outside the Harris County Jail.

Briggs pleaded guilty to a charge of injury to a child, after her first child died in May 1999. The baby had a birth defect in his urinary system. After finding the infant limp and blue in his crib, Briggs called 911 and the baby was taken to Lyndon B. Johnson Hospital.

At the hospital, a breathing tube was mistakenly inserted into his stomach rather than his lungs. The baby's brain was deprived of oxygen for about 40 minutes, said Portz, Briggs' appeals attorney.

The death initially was ruled a homicide, and Briggs was charged with murder. Briggs said she pleaded guilty to a lesser charge because her lawyer at the time, Richard Anderson, told her she would get probation. Anderson has denied saying that.

The Harris County Medical Examiner's Office later changed its initial ruling of homicide to "undetermined" after concluding that Briggs' baby showed no signs of abuse.


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