Couple accused of murdering toddler in 2011 get plea offers

Posted: August 05, 2013

NADERA BATSON, who is scheduled to go on trial Monday for allegedly torturing her 3-year-old godson to death in 2011 with regular beatings, a blowtorch and scalding bathwater, was given a choice to ponder this weekend.

As Batson, 24, cried, Common Pleas Judge Barbara McDermott explained that if the jury convicts her of first-degree murder there is but one sentence: life in state prison without parole.

But if she accepted a deal from the District Attorney's Office to plead guilty to third-degree murder, she would get 30 to 60 years in prison.

"I'm not saying this to be flippant, I sincerely wish you luck. I know you have the decision of your life to make this weekend," McDermott said.

Assistant District Attorney Bridget Kirn declined to discuss why her office is offering Batson the plea deal.

Batson's attorney, Lee Mandell, also declined to comment.

If Batson decides to go on trial she'll face her boyfriend and co-defendant, Marcus King, who pleaded guilty yesterday and agreed to testify against her.

King, 25, confessed to police in 2011 and again in court yesterday to taking part in the beating death of Jaquinn Brewton, who had lived with the couple in West Philadelphia for six months.

The boy's mother - who was homeless - gave him to Batson for safe keeping because the two women were longtime friends.

King, who is 6 foot 7 and weighs 220 pounds, told police that he and Batson beat the 32-pound boy about every other day with their fists, shoes and other objects. Batson burned Jaquinn's bottom with a blowtorch and they never took him for medical care for fear of being arrested, King said in his police statement.

When McDermott asked if his statement were true, King softly replied, "Yes, ma'am."

Timothy Tarpey, King's attorney, said his client had little choice but to plead guilty.

"There's no spinning this. It's a horrific case. He's trying to do the right thing by testifying against his co-defendant," the attorney said after the hearing.

"He's acknowledging that he should have, and did not, put an end to this," Tarpey added.

The end came for Jaquinn two weeks after Batson finally called 9-1-1 to report he had fallen down the steps and was unresponsive.

Doctors and nurses at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia reported that the boy was covered in bruises and burns and that his spleen and pancreas were battered and bleeding.

He never regained consciousness and was taken off life-support by his mother on July 12, 2011, having succumbed to blunt-force trauma to the abdomen.


On Twitter: @MensahDean

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