Mom pleads guilty in infant’s death

murder: Woman, 21, admits she beat son, blames disorder

jpawloski@theolympian.comOctober 5, 2012 

A woman pleaded guilty to second-degree murder Thursday in connection with the death of her 4-month-old son after she assaulted him in a Grand Mound mobile home in September 2011.

A prosecutor and the defense counsel for Rachel Bryan, 21, jointly agreed to recommend that she serve 18 years and four months in prison. Bryan’s sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 18 in Thurston County Superior Court.

Bryan, who is from California, was arrested in September 2011, after an ambulance was called to the mobile home she was staying at in the 20000 block of Grand Mound Way, and medical personnel found her son unresponsive.

According to court papers, Bryan admitted to assaulting her baby.

“I shouldn’t have done it, but it wasn’t me, “ Bryan told a sheriff’s detective. “When I get mad, my bi-polar comes out.”

Bryan also told the detective, “I wasn’t nice to my son. I was very rough with him,” court papers state. She also said she was frustrated because the baby would not stop crying.

The child was taken to Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital in Tacoma, where he was placed on life support. He was taken off life support several days later and died, a sheriff’s detective said outside court Thursday.

Four days before the infant was hurt, Child Protective Services began investigating whether Bryan was a fit mother.

CPS began investigating based on a nurse practitioner’s concerns about Bryan’s behavior toward her son during her visit to a health care facility in Lewis County. The nurse practitioner also was concerned about a lump on the child’s back.

The CPS worker learned that Bryan had recently moved to Thurston County from California.

According to what Bryan’s mother told a court official:

Bryan was diagnosed with mental problems when she was 15 or 16. She dropped out of high school in the 11th grade. She frequently stopped taking the medications she was prescribed to stabilize her moods. When she turned 18, she ran away to California with the father of her son; the father is currently in prison.

Jeremy Pawloski: 360-754-5445 jpawloski@theolympian.com

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