Skip to comments.Noe Admits To Drowning Her Daughter-Plea deal restricts sentence to 8 years in Brieana’s death
Posted on 02/05/2005 6:24:52 AM PST by John W
Fort Wayne, IN.-In a wavering voice, 35-year-old Judi L. Noe admitted Friday to causing her daughters death on Fathers Day. But under the terms of a plea agreement, Noe will spend no more than eight years in prison.
Noe pleaded guilty but mentally ill to an amended charge of reckless homicide in Allen Superior Court and faces two to eight years in prison in the death of her daughter, Brieana Breezy Noe.
Brieana, who would have turned 3 last August, died of drowning, and her death was ruled a homicide. Her decomposing body was discovered July 7, nearly three weeks after she died inside her Brighton Meadows Drive apartment.
Noes original charge of felony battery carried a potential prison term of 20 to 50 years, and a second charge of neglect of a dependent, which will be dismissed at sentencing under the agreement, carried a six- to 20-year prison term.
The plea agreement was the result of testimony provided this week by three doctors who evaluated Noe for competency to stand trial, according to Deputy Prosecutor Steven Godfrey. All three doctors found Noe competent but found that she was having a brief psychotic episode at the time of the crime.
Godfrey said he tried as hard as he could to find a way to prosecute the case on harsher charges but that after hearing the testimony of the three doctors this week, it wasnt possible. Offering the plea agreement was the best way to ensure a conviction, he said.
Otherwise, a jury could very well have found Noe not guilty by reason of insanity, Godfrey said.
He declined to comment about the specific terms of the agreement.
The agreement recommends that Noe receive an eight-year prison term but also addresses the option of suspending some of the prison time and ordering her to complete probation. The probation term, if granted, and the prison time should add up to eight years under the agreement.
If she receives any suspended time and probation, Noe is required by the agreement to receive psychiatric care and treatment a key element in the agreement, her attorney, Michelle F. Kraus said.
Throughout Fridays hearing, Noe cried and repeatedly wiped her eyes with a wadded-up tissue as her arms and legs shackled. She looked down at the defense table frequently while sitting between her attorneys, Kraus and William Lebrato.
Six bailiffs stood in various areas of the courtroom throughout the hearing an increase from the normal level of security.
Meanwhile, Noes family sat in the front row on one side of the courtroom gallery, and Brieanas father, Brad May, and his wife, Tami, and his mother sat in the front row on the other side of the gallery. May leaned forward in his seat as he watched Noe answer the judges questions. He paced the halls of the courthouse before the hearing; heavy dark circles enveloped his eyes and gray hairs speckled his once dark brown hair.
May, Tami May and his mother wore picture buttons of Brieana and red and black ribbons denoting their membership in the Parents of Murdered Children national support group.
Noe testified by answering questions posed by Kraus. She confirmed that she was in the shower with Brieana on June 19 and recklessly kept Brieana in the shower causing her death.
Godfrey submitted copies of Noes interview with Fort Wayne police the day of her arrest, July 7.
Godfrey explained to the judge that the interview should act as a supplement to the factual basis Noe provided in court Friday. To explain why they are guilty of the specific charges, defendants are required to provide a factual basis to the judge in order for a guilty plea to be accepted.
Judge John F. Surbeck Jr. told the attorneys and Noe he would take her factual basis under advisement so he could read through the supplemental information provided to him before deciding whether to accept it. Surbeck set Noes sentencing for March 28.
After the hearing, May said he believes Noe intentionally killed their daughter out of hate for him. He also criticized the criminal justice system, saying he has no sense of satisfaction.
Eight years is as good as it gets? Thats ridiculous, May said.
The only thing that could make him feel better, he said, is to have his daughter alive and well.
This week, May said he would have rather seen the case go to trial because he believes a jury would have convicted Noe after hearing his and others testimony.
Kraus said the plea was the best resolution for everyone. By pleading guilty but mentally ill, Noe will be eligible to receive mental health treatment while serving her prison term, which is what she needs the most, Kraus said.
Had the case gone to trial, Kraus planned to argue not guilty by reason of insanity. That verdict wouldnt have led to getting Noe the necessary help she needs, Kraus said. In addition to helping Noe, Kraus said she wanted to do whatever she could to keep Noes two other children ages 13 and 15 off the witness stand.
The older children, who lived with Noe at the time of Brieanas death, were also made to continue living in the apartment with their dead sister. Noe also had the children hide and keep quiet so she wouldnt have to answer the door when a Child Protective Services caseworker came to the apartment for a visit after Brieana had died.
Additionally, she had the older kids carry their sister to the living room and rub her to warm her up after she had been dead for days, according to welfare records released after local and state officials determined Brieanas death was caused by abuse or neglect.
The older children are now living with Noes mother, Marsha Noe. She was granted guardianship rights of both teens in January.
Guardianship records indicate that both of the older children are undergoing Child In Need of Services court proceedings in the family-relations division, a court-ordered process that aims to improve and repair the family in cases of abuse or neglect.
As she briskly walked from the courtroom, Marsha Noe simply told the media we lost a child when asked whether she wanted to comment.
"Guilty, but mentally ill". Well duh - could a perfectly "sane" person murder their own child?
This is just another travesty of justice. This so called mother deserves nothing less than to fry/hang/lethal injection (or drowning as would be more appropriate - but not legal).
This case just makes me more sick the farther along it gets.
Some People Just Need Killing.
Cruel and unusual punishment needs to be brought back in some cases, like this one.
This is a result fo the slippery slope of legalized abortion. The liberal judges have accepted that killing your own children, whether born or unborn, is no big deal. I wonder how would they react if daycare workers, nannies, or teachers kill children while mentally ill?
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