The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil,
but because of those who look on and do nothing.

~~~ Albert Einstein

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Andrew Burd, Burns or Bites?

Andrew Burd, a happy well adjusted four year old foster child was removed from the foster home he'd spent 18 months in, and placed with Larry and Hannah Overton. The only reason for the move was the Overton's had started proceeding to adopt Andrew, who they had learned about from their church.

Andrew's adoption would never be final, and the once lively, bouncing little boy would be dead just months after his placement in the Overton home. As a result of his death, both Larry and Hannah Overton were charged in connection to his death- the state alleged that Andrew had sustained abuse at the hands of the Overtons, and on October 2, 2006 Hannah Overton gave Andrew a lethal concoction of a sodium based seasoning mixed with water. After Andrew fell ill from the extremely high levels of sodium that were forced into his body, Hannah and her husband called various people, including members of their church. They failed however, to call 911. And they failed to seek proper medical care for Andrew for almost two full hours.

The state won a conviction against Hannah Overton. In turn, her church decided to raise funds to appeal her conviction. They also set about to discredit the states case against Hannah- in both the news media and online. In doing so, Free Hannah, the website behind the movement was formed.

I will not link the site, a search in Google will quickly take you to it. However, I feel it is important to deal head on with the false information they have attempted to pass off as "Truths" in this case.

These are direct quotes from their site, blockquoted so you know they are NOT my words.

Lie: Hannah tortured Andrew by burning him with cigarettes.

Truth: No one in the Overton home smoked, no cigarettes were ever found, and numerous witnesses testified that Andrew incessantly picked at scabs and mosquito bites until he bled. Mosquitoes in Corpus Christi, amazing. Additionally, Dr. Melenik, a medical expert who is board-certified in wound interpretation, testified that these were sores that had partially healed and then been picked at.

Along with attempting to sell this misinformation as the truth, these supporters have also attempted to mislead people into believing that these 'sores' as they call them were never even mentioned until after the trial.

In reality, the Doctor that preformed the autopsy on Andrew testified in Hannah Overton's criminal trial that these "sores" were in fact burns. In his testimony, there is no mention of cigarettes as a possible means of inflicting the burns- rather he describes possible ways in which a burn such as Andrew's would have occurred- minus the actual element that was used.

Court testimony regarding the burns is located here.

Perhaps, someone should point out that whether the Overton's burned Andrew with cigarettes (which they deny) or some other object (which we contend)- it's still abusive. And it's still something a child should never be subjected to.

I plan on continuing to report on this case. Because of the depth of the case itself, and the immense representation of "facts" in the case- I am currently planning on introducing evidence to fight the lies, one lie at a time. This will be in no particular order, and is subject to change if I find an easier way to handle this. Until then, if there is a certain part of the case which you would like to discuss sooner rather than later - please leave it in the comments and I can rush it up in the list.