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Judge declines to increase bond for mother of slain 4-year-old

Posted July 30, 2010

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— A judge on Friday refused to increase the bond for a woman facing a neglect charge in connection with the death of her 4-year-old daughter.

Helen Reyes, 26, of 5255 Passenger Place in Raleigh, was charged Thursday with negligent child abuse, and she was released on a $50,000 bond.

Prosecutors tried Friday to have her bond raised to $250,000, alleging that she is a flight risk and that she knew her daughter was being abused. In a brief court hearing, District Judge Resson Faircloth kept her bond at $50,000, and he ordered her not to leave North Carolina.

Helen Reyes leaves court Group shields accused mother from media

Teghan Skiba died July 19 at UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill, three days after she had been taken to a Smithfield hospital. She had cuts, lacerations, bite marks, head trauma and sexual assault injuries, authorities said.

Jonathan Douglas Richardson, 21, of 750 Old Sanders Road in Smithfield, is charged with first-degree murder and child abuse in connection with her death.

Teghan and Reyes had been living with Richardson in a barn on his grandparents' property for four weeks before Reyes left the girl in his care on July 6 to go to New Mexico for military training.

Investigators determined that the physical abuse of Teghan, which included forcing her to consume alcohol, started before Reyes left town, Johnston County Sheriff Steve Bizzell said. So, she was aware of the situation in which she was leaving her daughter, he said.

"She neglected to carry out her motherly duties," Bizzell said, calling the case the worst child abuse he and his investigators have ever seen. "We have a so-called mother that just walked away."

In a Wake County Human Services investigative report released Wednesday, social workers determined Reyes had failed "to protect her child and to entrust her child to an appropriate caretaker."

Richardson initially told hospital workers that Teghan had fallen off the bed. He later told Johnston County investigators that he "lost it" and whipped the girl with a cord after she went to the bathroom in the bed they were sharing, according to search warrants. He explained that he is "bipolar and little things set him off."

Reyes' next court hearing is scheduled for Aug.12.


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  • sunneyone Aug 4, 2010

    Wonder where they're going to wind up moving the trials to. I can almost guarantee they'll be moved, because of the public opinion.

  • blue92405 Aug 3, 2010

    I agree about contacting the judge's assistant is uncalled for. I am also not blaming the judge. I am blaming the mother. I believe that people are innocent until proven guilty...but it's my understanding that she admitted to this...and honestly I wouldn't be in her place, and if I ever were I would NEVER want anybody to sympathize with me if I were a monster..

  • countryrosech Aug 3, 2010

    That legal assistant is there to assist the public in routing their calls and providing public information - not to take abuse from self-righteous masses!! For shame! Reading through these posts while like a mini-mob mentality. People please inform yourself, research your legal system, understand the limitations on ALL government officials - most especially those in the legal system. And if you still choose feel strongly regarding a particular court case - come to the TRIAL - where the REAL action happens!! Also, to give out the head district court judge's assistant's number and tell people to contact that office to let HER know that you have an issue with the bond hearing is ridiculous!!

  • countryrosech Aug 3, 2010

    This woman had made bond the night before this hearing - she already OUT. If the DA's office considered her a flight risk they should have requested a higher bond to begin with. But I find it extremely unfair to the judge(s) the views of many of the posters on this site. Also, since the news does not do a word for word play by play the majority of you will not know the comments, critiques, etc. made by that judge that day of this bond hearing. So realize you're only receiving a portion of event details before you so hatefully judge the actions of others. Also, not to excuse this woman, but under US law all individuals are INNOCENT until proven guilty - so lets please remember that folks. If you were in the reverse place I'm sure you would appreciate some form of compassion from the public considering they are not fully aware of all the details.

  • blue92405 Jul 30, 2010

    I honestly don't understand how anybody could sympathize with this "mother". Even if she herself did not take part in the abuse, she allowed it to happen. I am very doubtful that she was clueless about the whole thing. I'm sure she could have found other options for childcare. That was a decision that she made, and was aware of the situation that she put that child into.

    I by no means think that they "should focus on the mother and let the monster go free" as some have sarcastically commented. I think that she should be judged more harshly than she is..I have a daughter, and this whole thing sickens me...I have no words...if this were your baby or grandbaby how would you feel? I would NEVER allow this to my child, even if it meant my death.

    I believe that they both deserve more punishment than they will ever get...

  • keneds Jul 30, 2010

    @ EverythingTicksMeOff.....words are cheap........why dont you go and give her support, do the right thing hire her a great attorney ( she is going to need one ) its not that we are judging we just know right from wrong.so whats your excuse??

  • mamabearprotectinghercub Jul 30, 2010

    You don't make no sense?

  • mamabearprotectinghercub Jul 30, 2010

    I don't believe that the judge made the right decision, and no I don't like it. This women stuck by this guy instead of being a mother, & I know that the mother knew this was going on. So no I don't think it was right.

  • EverythingTicksMeOff Jul 30, 2010

    JAT, get the quote right, eh? "Judge not, that ye be NOT judged."

    Here's a link to help you out: http://bible.cc/matthew/7-1.htm

    And for one interpretation of the meaning: "Judge not, that ye be not judged. The term judge is used in more than one sense, but Christ's meaning is plain. (1) He does not prohibit the civil judgment of the courts upon evil doers, for this is approved throughout the whole Bible. (2) He does not prohibit the judgment of the church, through its officers, upon those who walk disorderly, for both he and the apostles have enjoined this. (3) He does not forbid those private judgments that we are compelled to form the wrong-doers, for he himself tell us that we are to judge men by their fruits. (See Mt 7:15-20.) What he designs to prohibit is rash, uncharitable judgments, a fault-finding spirit, a disposition to condemn without examination of charges."

    So perhaps there could be less of the rash, uncharitable judgements that spew forth from posters around here.

  • wildcat Jul 30, 2010

    Thanks WRAL and staff for allowing my comments. I appreciate that and do my best to follow the rules of this board. Have a great weekend and I do hope we see some slow rain. Keep cool all of you.