View Full Version : Amanda Porter gave 3-year-old Spencer a beat down
January 23rd, 2010, 09:45 AM
Amanda Kay Porter beat her boyfriend's 3-year-old son to death nearly 18 months ago, Story County authorities alleged Friday.
Nevada and Story County police arrested Porter, 25, on charges of first-degree murder and child endangerment causing death in the June 2008 homicide of Spencer Corson.
In 2008, Spencer Corson died at a Des Moines hospital after suffering head injuries consistent with child abuse. A medical examiner ruled the death a homicide.
At the time, Porter was living with Spencer's father, Stuart Corson, when the boy suffered the injuries that proved fatal.
Spencer was rushed to the hospital three times for head injuries and malnutrition between 2007 and his death, state records show.
Porter, who has two other children, has been the subject of multiple child abuse inquires by the Iowa Department of Human Services.
Bill and Ann Byers of Lampasas, Texas, are the legal guardians of one of Porter's daughters, Hailey. The Byers' son, Casey, fathered Hailey with Porter. He asked his parents to look after his daughter before he was killed in action in Iraq.
They fought a complex legal battle with Iowa human services authorities to retain custody of the 4-year-old girl as suspicions of child abuse mounted against Porter.
In 2007, Hailey was taken to the hospital three times for abscesses caused by wet diapers. One visit required an IV. During another visit, the Byerses discovered Hailey with a black eye.
The grandparents eventually won custody of their granddaughter and said they hope her stepbrother finds justice after Friday's arrest.
Amanda Porter's private MySpace (where she calls herself "Amanda Corson"): http://www.myspace.com/flip_flop23
Stuart Corson's MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/nosrocsc
Looks like they may still be together. As of November 2009, she was still posting lovey dovey crap on his page. There are still pics of her up on it (including an album titled "my beatutiful woman").
A family at war and a DHS fail.... the full text of a July 2009 (one year after Spencer's death) Des Moines Register article is in a blog here: http://standupspeakup-leesa.blogspot.com/2009/07/grandparents-sidestep-dhs-in-bid-to.html
Three-year-olds Hailey Byers and Spencer Corson lived as brother and sister in a blended family - until Spencer was killed by what authorities say was violent child abuse.
Spencer was born with genetic abnormalities, including a cleft palate that required use of a feeding tube, relatives said. He was mentally delayed and couldn't speak in sentences. He knew some sign language. He ran and played, stacked Lego bricks, did puzzles, was captivated by Elmo, and loved spaghetti and strawberries.
2003: Amanda Porter is convicted of felony kidnapping/child stealing in Woodbury County.
JAN. 16, 2005: Hailey Byers is born to Amanda Porter and Casey Byers.
MAY 2, 2005: Spencer Corson is born to Jessica Rivera and Stuart Corson.
JUNE 11, 2005: Byers is killed in Iraq.
JANUARY 2006: Porter asks Casey Byers' parents, Ann and Bill Byers of Schleswig, if they can take in Hailey. The Byerses learn she has not been to a doctor and needs all her immunizations. Porter moves in soon after.
JUNE 2006: Iowa Department of Human Services investigators document a child abuse finding against Spencer's mother, Rivera, after she fails to provide 1-year-old Spencer with adequate food. She later gives full custody to Corson.
JULY 2007: The Byerses keep in contact with Porter, who grants visits with Hailey. Three times they take the 2-year-old to the hospital for abscesses due to prolonged contact with wet, soiled diapers. The first time, Hailey requires an IV.
LATE JULY 2007: Porter meets Corson of Story City and moves in with him and his 2-year-old son, Spencer.
SEPTEMBER 2007: The Byerses initiate a welfare check with Nevada police to see if Hailey is healthy. A certified letter to Porter's address is returned undelivered. The Byerses seek emergency custody. Their lawyer presents Judge Dale Ruigh with the Byers' documentation of perceived neglect and abuse. Armed with Ruigh's court order for custody, the Byerses find Hailey, who has a black eye. Porter says she fell and hit a table, relatives say.
LATE SEPTEMBER 2007: Hailey is no longer toilet trained and shows other behavior problems, the Byerses say. A medical exam shows no physical evidence of sexual abuse, they say.
APRIL 7, 2008: A DHS report says that Porter's home is safe, and Judge William Ostlund transfers back custody of Hailey. But he gives the Byerses visitation, court records show.
APRIL 16, 2008: Spencer suffers a concussion and is flown by helicopter from Ames to Blank Children's Hospital in Des Moines. DHS concludes an unknown person failed to provide Spencer with proper supervision and calls the child abuse allegation founded, a DHS report states. The Byerses are not told. Safety services through Youth and Shelter Services in Ames begin.
MAY 1, 2008: Ann and Bill Byers pick up Hailey for their first court-ordered five-day visitation and take her to their Nebraska cabin. She is unusually quiet and inactive, they write in their journal. On the trip back to Ames, they say she cried and said she didn't want to go home.
MAY 28, 2008: Spencer, 3, is hospitalized for five days for malnutrition. Another abuse investigation begins, and a child-in-need-of-assistance hearing is set. Neither Corson nor Rivera shows up for the hearing, so it is moved to June 27, 2008.
JUNE 23, 2008: Spencer, unresponsive due to a head injury, is again life-flighted. A DHS child abuse investigation begins.
JUNE 24, 2008: Spencer dies at 12:30 p.m.
JUNE 27, 2008: Bill Byers learns of Spencer's death from Corson's MySpace page.
JULY 1, 2008: The Byerses pick up Hailey for their five-day visitation. Porter isn't there, but Corson hands over the girl.
JULY 3, 2008: Judge William Pattinson rules "there is some legitimate concern" Hailey would be in danger if she's returned to her mother's home, and orders Hailey to temporarily remain with the Byerses.
JULY 12, 2008: Porter gives birth to Erika Corson. Two days later, DHS decides there's no basis to request that a judge remove the baby at that time, a DHS report states.
JULY 22, 2008: DHS worker Jennifer Welton can't confirm abuse in connection with Spencer's death and "no person is named responsible," according to her report, signed by her supervisor, Kathy Doyle of the Ames office.
AUG. 11, 2008: Judge Gary McMinimee orders that Hailey be returned to Porter, but postpones the effective date.
SEPT. 26, 2008: Judge Dale Ruigh orders that Ann and Bill Byers keep custody of Hailey until a guardianship trial takes place, court records show. The trial has been postponed indefinitely.
OCTOBER 2008: An autopsy by Polk County Medical Examiner Greg Schmunk concludes Spencer's death was caused by "abusive head injury" during an "assault by another."http://i48.tinypic.com/2z9jk8m.jpg
January 23rd, 2010, 02:42 PM
Amanda Porter AKA Satan
January 23rd, 2010, 04:30 PM
Amanda, must have been jealous of Spencer, he looked just like his mommy, Jessica. Jessicas old myspace: http://www.myspace.com/93696108
Did Stuart not realize what was happening to Spencer?
I pray for justice to be served in a humongous(sp?) dose!
January 25th, 2010, 06:33 PM
This is UNREAL. I know the system wants to strike a balance between parental rights and the child's safety, but could we maybe lean toward the safety of the child a LITTLE bit? Those poor kids. :argh:
January 25th, 2010, 10:33 PM
It does not look like the 18 months of stress were kind to her.
January 25th, 2010, 11:54 PM
It does not look like the 18 months of stress were kind to her.
I'd like to think the guilt of her crime is killing her, slowly.........
March 26th, 2010, 04:16 PM
A woman accused of murder in the killing of her boyfriend’s 3-year-old child has asked for a review of her bond in hopes she will be released from jail pending trial.
At a hearing Thursday, Porter’s attorney, Greta Anne Truman, asked District Court Judge Timothy Finn to reduce Porter’s bond to $10,000 plus the deed to a trailer she co-owns with the victim’s father, Stuart Corson, against her appearance at trial.
“This is an old case,” Truman said. “Ms. Porter has waived her right to a speedy trial, and, given the nature of this case and the number of expert witnesses that need to be called, it will not be resolved quickly.”
Truman called four witnesses in defense of her motion to reduce the bond, among them Porter’s mother, Deb Smith, of Nevada, at whose home Spencer Corson was staying when the alleged homicide occurred, and Stuart Corson, who testified Porter and the victim were “inseparable.”
However, Assistant Attorney General Douglas Hammerand took aim at both Truman’s witnesses. He noted Stuart Corson’s criminal history and questioned Porter’s ties to the community.
Hammerand finished by noting the bond in the case was not just to secure Porter’s appearance at trial, but for the safety of other persons. He told the court that, if released, Porter would have unrestricted access to the 1-year-old child she had with Stuart Corson, and cited a previous felony conviction on Porter’s record.
“It’s not just a felony conviction, your honor,” Hammerand said. “It’s a felony conviction for child stealing.”
He noted that in all three instances in which Spencer Corson was hospitalized, he was in Porter’s care. Deb Smith said Porter and Spencer Corson had been alone in her home just prior to his hospitalization June 23.
Spencer Corson suffered from several illnesses from birth, including a cleft pallet, a heart murmur, a horseshoe-shaped kidney and other issues. He was developmentally slower than other children his age and took feeding primarily through a G-tube, but family members told DHS agents he had been making progress.
I can not believe that he is sticking with her. I hope they keep her ass in jail now and for a long time.
March 27th, 2010, 11:44 AM
I can not believe that he is sticking with her. I hope they keep her ass in jail now and for a long time.
And I cannot believe the amount of FAIL in this whole case!
How often does a child have to be admitted with head injuries or malnutrition before the red flags pop up and action is taken? Especially when others are voicing their concerns over injuries to another child in the same family!
Why was Hailey given back to her (at the very least) neglectful mother time after time?
Poor Spencer died 3 days before the re-scheduled child in need hearing. Why the long gap between the hearings? If the parents failed to attend, then the child should have been removed immediately, and then re-schedule! If they had nothing to hide, and had the childs best interests at heart then they would show up. The fact that they didn't should have been a HUGE red flag.
And if she is released, she will have unrestricted access to her 1yr old??? :jaw:
May 8th, 2011, 01:06 PM
Trial in Iowa child killing delayed until November
AMES, Iowa— A trial set for next week in the killing of a 3-year-old Iowa boy has been put off until November.
Twenty-five-year-old Amanda Porter, of Story City, faces charges of first-degree murder and child endangerment in the 2008 death of Spencer Corson. The Ames Tribune reports a district judge granted the delay in her case Friday to ensure expert witnesses could testify at trial.
The Nevada boy was pronounced dead June 24, 2008, a day after he was found unresponsive. The boy's death certificate indicated he died as a result of abusive head trauma inflicted by another person.
Porter was the girlfriend of the boy's father and was caring for him when police say he suffered the fatal injuries.
Spencer Corson murder trial delayed - amestrib.com (http://www.amestrib.com/articles/2011/05/06/ames_tribune/news/hid43093sect_7f94efc59dfc7a1e9e0.txt)
Amanda's cooter must be made of gold because the bitch even made it on his obituary, this one really disgusts me, November can't come quick enough!
May 8th, 2011, 02:08 PM
Is it just me or does that picture of her all smiley and happy remind me of the children under the stairs? Shes too blond in that pic....
I hope she gets life and gets placed in G.POP
November 10th, 2011, 03:02 PM
The trial of Amanda Porter, accused of murder in the death of her fiancé’s son, resumed this morning with opening statements from both the state and the defense.
Assistant Iowa Attorney General Denise Timmins opened with a step-by-step recounting of the events leading to the death of 3-year-old Spencer Corson, noting previous incidents in which the child was left in Porter’s care prior to being hospitalized.
Timmins previewed testimony from state’s witnesses who she said would testify that, despite Porter’s claims that Spencer suffered from seizures, no evidence of seizures was found and no one but Porter ever said they witnessed him suffering seizures.
Timmins also said she would call Polk County Medical Examiner Gregory Schmunk, who performed the autopsy on Spencer. Schmunk is expected to testify that Spencer’s injuries could only have been caused a few hours prior to his last hospitalization. At points during that time frame, Porter was alone with Spencer.
Porter’s attorney, Mike Adams, previewed the defense’s case, which centers around Spencer’s suffering from fetal alcohol syndrome, the result of which was the seizures reported by Porter.
“You will not see evidence that there was trauma inflicted on this child," Adams said. . . .
The prosecution’s first witness in the case against Porter was Dr. John Paschen, a pediatrician at the McFarland Center in Ames and Spencer Corson’s physician since his birth.
Paschen testified about Spencer’s numerous congenital ailments, but said he didn’t believe any of them were the result of fetal alcohol syndrome because Spencer didn’t meet one of the main criteria of the disease.
Paschen said children with fetal alcohol syndrome tend not to grow either in the womb or after birth. However, he said, Spencer could be seen to be putting on weight when he was kept at the hospital for several days and fed by staff members.
He also testified about injuries Spencer sustained, including a subdural hematoma and a skull fracture which defendant Amanda Porter said he got when he fell off of a couch at their home.
Paschen said he didn’t believe those injuries could have resulted from the incident described by Porter.
Next called was Jessica Rivera, Spencer Corson’s mother. . . .
Jessica Rivera testified that she’d never seen Spencer have a seizure. She described the last day she’d spent with him in April, when she took him to her niece’s birthday party. Later, Spencer would be hospitalized for reportedly suffering a seizure and falling off the back of a couch while in Amanda Porter’s care.
Jessica Rivera also said that she hadn’t consumed alcohol while pregnant and in fact has never consumed alcohol. However, she did note on cross-examination that she herself suffered from seizures while she was pregnant with Spencer.
The state next called Dianna Rivera, Jessica Rivera’s mother, who talked about the bruises Spencer had on him when he was sent to Blank Children’s Hospital on June 24, 2008. She described a large lump on the child’s head with a bruise, marks around his throat that she said looked to her like a handprint, bruises under both arms and on his legs.
She also described the April 16 hospitalization, during which she heard Porter making statements that Spencer fell off a couch while she was in the restroom, resulting in a subdural hematoma.
“While she was explaining what happened, she stopped and pointed at Jessica and myself and said, ‘Well, actually, it all started when he came back from their house,’” Dianna Rivera said. “At the time I was extremely confused. Then she stated that when (Spencer) came back from their house he had a seizure. She was also asked if she rushed him to the hospital. She said no, she hadn’t.”
On cross examination, Adams questioned Dianna Rivera about Spencer’s problems with gaining weight while in her care, and the color of the marks on Spencer’s throat.
The last witness called before the noon break was Sgt. Ricardo Martinez of the Nevada Police Department, who verified accounts of bruises on Spencer’s body when he was hospitalized shortly before his death.
He also said he’d spoken to Porter at the scene, and that she’d told him that the bruise on his forehead came from running into a computer desk a few days earlier. Porter told Martinez that the bruise on one side of Spencer’s neck came from him being accidentally struck by a door that her daughter, Hailey, had opened. Martinez testified that when he questioned her about the mark on the other side of Spencer’s neck, as well as those on Spencer’s armpits and the inside of his right knee, she had no explanation.
The state next called Tracy Gibson, an EMS worker with the Nevada Fire Department who responded to the 911 call about Spencer Corson.
Gibson again confirmed the bruises on Spencer’s body on his forehead, the sides of his throat, and, near his armpits, what she called “thumb bruises.”
She also told the jury that when first responders arrived at the scene and began performing CPR on Spencer, Amanda Porter and her mother, Deb Smith, didn’t seem particularly distraught that the child wasn’t breathing. . . .
On cross-examination, Gibson described the coloring of the bruises and said it was her estimation that they’d been there a day or two. . . .
The last witness called before the break was Deb Smith, Porter’s mother and the woman who made the 911 call when Spencer was found unresponsive. She testified that she’d left Amanda and Spencer alone in her home alone twice on June 23 as she went for walks with Porter’s daughter. . . .
The prosecution played the 911 tape from the incident. . . On the tape, the dispatcher asks Smith if she or Porter wants to try CPR. Smith doesn’t respond for several long moments before finally asking, “Amanda, do you want to try CPR?”http://www.amestrib.com/articles/2011/11/09/ames_tribune/news/doc4ebaa4bed3f18122236783.txt
Paschen testified about the medical conditions that Spencer dealt with since his birth, including a cleft palate that made it difficult for Spencer to eat.Might explain his difficulty gaining weight.
"Children have abnormal brains but that doesn't mean they're more prone to bleed," said Paschen. . . . [No idea what this is supposed to mean. Is the attorney looking to explain the subdural hematoma?
Prosecutors said Spencer was hospitalized twice in the months leading up to his death. During one of those hospital visits, Amanda Porter told doctors that Spencer had seizures and had fallen from a couch, but Paschen said the injuries were not consistent with such claims.
"I mean was he on the top of the couch and he fell onto a brick or something? But if he was just sitting on the couch and fell off, I don't buy that," said Paschen. . . .
November 10th, 2011, 08:57 PM
This woman is full of shit. She killed that baby as sure as if she'd put a gun to his head. Her mother took her daughter for a walk, and she decides to dispose of the problem child, Spencer.
November 10th, 2011, 11:21 PM
I hope they fry her. And her uterus.
November 11th, 2011, 01:46 AM
I can't believe that Spencer's dad din't know that this bitch was abusing him and not feeding him properly. Just because a child has a feeding tube doesn't mean that they can't gain weight. The whole reason that he was placed with his father to begin with was because his bio mom wasn't or couldn't feed him properly. Then it happens AGAIN under the care of step-mom and he is hospitalized for malnutrition where he gained weight when he was fed properly by hospital staff.
And THREE head injuries? No one thought anything about that including his dad?? Really? And bruises on his throat but dad didn't see that either? No one thought it was weird? WTF??? No one thinks it's strange that his father supposedly lived in that home but never noticed anything?
He needs to be hung up by his fucking balls and she needs nailed to a tree by her cooter and they both need to be left for the winter. See how well they fare next spring.
This has got to be one of the biggest clusterfucks I have ever read about. Where was ANYONE to protect this child?? Where was his actual MOM? WTF?? I'm just flabbergasted. The father needs charged too!
November 12th, 2011, 06:10 AM
“Is Amanda very emotional?” defense attorney Michael Adams asked Smith during his cross examination.
“No,” she said.
It’s an assessment that was borne out throughout Wednesday’s testimony; according to witnesses called by the state, Porter, 26, maintained her composure throughout the incident that resulted in Spencer’s death, and even previous to that. . . .
In a much-noted event in April 2008, shortly after Spencer returned from a visitation with his mother, Porter apparently left him alone in their living room while she went to the bathroom. When she returned, Spencer had apparently fallen off the couch and was having a seizure.
Witnesses said Porter didn’t call 911, didn’t rush Spencer to the emergency room. What she did was send a text message to her boyfriend, the child’s father, telling him about the situation.
“I was in Ames at the time,” Stuart Corson testified. “Amanda sent me a message saying that I needed to get home, something was wrong with Spencer.”
Stuart went home and found his son screaming.
“His whole body was stiff, like he couldn’t move,” Stuart said. “His eyelids were fluttering like he was having a seizure.”
Stuart took Spencer to the emergency room, where he was found to have a subdural hematoma, blood on his brain. Later, a small skull fracture was found on a follow-up skeletal survey, possibly from the same incident. Witnesses said that doctors who examined the boy couldn’t find any physiological reason for his seizure, or that would have explained his injuries. . . .
Tracy Gibson, who does EMS work for the Nevada Fire Department, took the stand Wednesday as well and said that when she arrived at the scene, both Porter and Smith seemed unperturbed by the young boy who was dying in front of them.
“They were very calm, collected,” she testified. “They were standing at Spencer’s feet a little ways away just carrying on a normal conversation, it appeared to me. There was no upset, no tears.” . . .
Stuart Corson, Spencer’s father, gave jurors an overview of Spencer’s short life, outlining his developmental disabilities and the disintegration of his relationship with Jessica Rivera shortly after Spencer’s birth. He said that he’d seen Rivera be abusive to Spencer on a few occasions, including incidents in which she allegedly struck Spencer or threw the child into his car seat.
Answering questions about the day before Spencer died, Corson said he knew Porter had been up late the night before, dealing with Spencer and Porter’s own daughter, neither of whom had wanted to go to sleep. He said he had been out with a friend until late the night before. Around 5 p.m. June 23, Amanda decided it was too hot in their trailer without air conditioning and took Spencer and her daughter to Smith’s home in Nevada. Corson stayed behind to catch up on some sleep, he said. He said he ended up texting Amanda much of the time and didn’t get any rest as planned.
Dr. Kathleen Foster-Wendell, staff pediatrician at McFarland Clinic, who testified in depth about Spencer’s April trip to the hospital, describing the bleeding found on both sides of his brain and saying it would almost certainly not have been caused by a fall from a couch, as Porter claimed.
“The amount of force that is needed to cause that extent of damage to the brain would involve some form of acceleration, more than just gravity,” she said.
Foster-Wendell testified that Spencer’s brain essentially hit the side of his skull and bounced off, causing the two hematomas. The results of her examination were that the child had suffered non-accidental injuries.
On cross examination, defense attorney Michael Adams pushed Foster-Wendell to admit that she couldn’t conclusively establish a time frame for the formation of the injuries, or completely rule out the alleged fall from the couch. He also reintroduced the idea that Spencer was injured in his mother’s care the weekend before, noting reports that Spencer had come home with an unexplained bruise and had not been acting like himself since.http://www.amestrib.com/articles/2011/11/10/ames_tribune/news/doc4ebbfe5f73c3b467423909.txt
Absentee dad, leaving it all up to the new woman. Not taking any time to look at his child, play with him. He just didn't count, huh? And, of course, stepford wive Amanda could never get ruffled enough to hurt him. No, it's all his FAS, right?
November 12th, 2011, 06:18 AM
In the interview, which took place at a family waiting room at Blank Children’s Hospital in Des Moines after Spencer was admitted, Porter told the agent about the April incident, in which Spencer fell off a couch, resulting in the brain bleeding, and she described the events leading up to Spencer’s hospitalization on June 23 and death on June 24.
Porter said following the April injury Spencer would sometimes seize up and remain tense, and that the night before his hospitalization he hadn’t wanted to go to sleep until Stuart Corson came home from hanging out with friends at around 4 a.m.
Pregnant and not having slept much the night before, Porter said she decided to take Spencer and her daughter to her mother’s home. Once there, she put him to bed. She said she fed him once at around 6:30 p.m. Then, at around 7 p.m., she heard Spencer crying and went to check on him and found he was “having one of his tightening up things.” She said she rubbed his legs to get him to loosen them up, and he stopped crying afterwards.
At around 9 a.m., she called Stuart Corson to wake him up for work, and checked on Spencer again. Shortly after, as she was about to go to sleep, she checked on the child one last time.
“I tried to sit him up and see if he would just like respond … and he didn’t so I went to my mom’s bedroom and woke her up and asked her to look at him and see if he looked right to her,” Porter said. “And that’s when we called the ambulance because I asked her if she could tell if he was breathing or not, because it didn’t look like it to me, but he’s real small so it’s hard to tell anyways.”
More medical testimony followed, including that of Riswan Shah, a pediatrician at Blank Children’s Hospital who diagnosed Spencer as having fetal alcohol syndrome. She also testified that neither the syndrome nor falling off the couch explained injuries that Spencer suffered could have caused the brain damage.
On cross-examination, Adams focused on brain swelling as a possible reason for the hematomas. Shah said brain swelling damages blood vessels differently than trauma.
The state’s last witness was Gregory Schmunk, the Polk County Medical Examiner, who performed the autopsy on Spencer and ruled his death to be a homicide by abusive head trauma.
Schmunk testified that Spencer’s brain damage could only have been caused by an injury to the head.
“You don’t see this with kids on respirators, or from seizures,” he said. “Only in trauma.”http://www.amestrib.com/articles/2011/11/11/ames_tribune/news/doc4ebd3c455d1d2203145321.txt
November 16th, 2011, 05:34 PM
The first of the defense’s two witnesses was Dr. John Plunkett, a forensic pathologist specializing in infant injury who has gained notoriety as a critic of so-called “shaken baby syndrome.” . . .
“It could be a seizure disorder related to whatever the structural abnormality of his brain was,” Plunkett said. “It could be the expansion of an existing subdural hematoma. It could have been trauma. Someone may have done something to Spencer Corson two minutes before he was dead. I can’t disprove that. So it could be a number of possibilities.”
The defense has focused on identifying something or someone other than Porter as the cause of Spencer’s death. Defense Attorney Michael Adams contended that Spencer suffered from fetal alcohol syndrome and, in the months prior to his death, developed a seizure disorder, possibly after falling off the couch at his father’s home or because of something that happened while he was in his mother’s care.
Adams has also advanced the idea that the subdural hematomas, retinal detachment and retinal hemorrhages reported by Polk County Medical Examiner Gregory Schmunk following Spencer’s autopsy were the result of natural causes – accidental injuries or medical issues such as swelling of the brain – rather than an assault.
On cross examination, Plunkett said his findings couldn’t rule out that injuries were inflicted on Spencer either in April 2008, when he reportedly fell off the couch and started having seizures, or in June 2008, when he was hospitalized with bruises to his neck, armpits, leg and forehead. Plunkett also noted that he had no special training in neuropathology, as do the specialists who examined Spencer’s brain following the autopsy, or ocular pathology, as do those who described the hemorrhages in Spencer’s eyes as being the product of trauma. . . .
Following Plunkett was Dr. Peter Stephens, a forensic pathologist who said he’s been involved in 3,000 autopsies. Stephens, like Plunkett, said he couldn’t find any evidence that Spencer was intentionally abused or injured.
Stephens said that if he were filing a cause and manner in Spencer’s death, he would list the cause as chronic subdural hematoma due to an unwitnessed fall, with fetal alcohol syndrome as a contributing factor, and the manner as natural causes. He said Schmunk’s findings of homicide by abusive head trauma were “crazy.”
“That’s almost as crazy as calling it suicide,” Stephens said. “I wouldn’t do it. I require some evidence of inflicted injury to call it a homicide.”
Shaking my head. I wonder if these two's testimony got any traction at all?
November 18th, 2011, 01:57 AM
Hammerand’s closing argument recounted the sequence of events as argued by the state: that on June 23, 2008, a pregnant, exhausted and frustrated Porter assaulted Spencer while she was alone at her mother’s home, finishing an attack that she’d previously attempted in April when Spencer was hospitalized for allegedly falling off a couch.
“What makes sense in this case is that the defendant intentionally inflicted injuries on this young boy,” Hammerand said. “And it’s time for her to be held accountable for what she did.” . . .
“We know it’s inflicted trauma,” Hammerand said. “The only question left is, who inflicted it?”
Defense attorney Michael Adams used his closing to point out apparent inconsistencies in the story put forward by the prosecution.
“Does it make sense that Amanda disliked Spencer so much that she inflicted this trauma on him?” he said. “Did she have an actual ill will, or hatred, or malice that caused her to intentionally do something to him to hurt him? Does that make sense?”
Adams said one hole in the prosecution’s theory was that Porter lived with Spencer and his father for months before the April incident. Adams said the state’s idea that Porter suddenly became angry at Spencer and injured him in April, and then went back to normal again before hurting him again in June, made no sense.
“You heard from Stuart Corson,” Adams said. “He thought Amanda was a good mother to his child. He never had any problems with her. He never saw any abuse or anything that was concerning. They lived with Stuart’s mother, she never saw any abuse, or anything concerning. How did Amanda discipline the children? She used time outs. So why all of a sudden did she develop this malice, did she snap? I assert that that has not been explained to you.”
Adams also brought up the defense theory that Spencer was actually injured while in his mother’s care in April 2008. He spent the weekend with his mother, Jessica Rivera, just before his injury and first seizure, and allegedly came home with an unexplained bruise on his nose. . . .
But in his rebuttal, Hammerand noted that, while the defense’s experts had studied the reports and photos from Spencer’s medical history, his experts had actually examined Spencer.
He also noted that, despite Adams’ questioning, the state isn’t required to prove that Porter had a motive to hurt Spencer.
“She was frustrated with Spencer, and she had a fixed purpose and design to do him harm,” Hammerand said. “And that’s what she did.”http://www.amestrib.com/articles/2011/11/17/ames_tribune/news/doc4ec3d32e97742683327002.txt
Amanda Kaye Porter, 26, of Story City, was convicted Wednesday of first-degree murder and child endangerment resulting in death for killing 3-year-old Spencer Corson in June 2008.
The 12-member jury delivered the verdict at 10:30 a.m., less than 24 hours after the case was sent into deliberations.
District Court Judge Timothy Finn set a sentencing date for Jan. 13. . . .
“She ripped my heart out, and I’ll never get it back,” said Jessica Rivera. “It’s still gone … All I can ever do is think about him, think about the happy thoughts and make sure my daughter knows her brother.”
Jessica Rivera said that even though the case of her son’s death has finally been closed, she doesn’t really know why Porter killed him.
“She’s just an evil, evil person,” she said, “and I don’t think I’ll ever get the answers that I need.”
Dianna said she would have few words for Porter if they spoke.
“All I would want to say is that you got what you deserved,” she said.http://www.amestrib.com/articles/2011/11/17/ames_tribune/news/doc4ec3e6ae56c32599535507.txt
November 20th, 2011, 10:27 PM
This is Bill Byers. My wife Ann and I are the grandparents of Hailey Byers, who is the daughter of Amanda Porter and our son Casey. Up to this point we have kept somewhat quiet on this case but now that it has been resolved and the future of our granddaughter is now secured it is time for us to express our views on the whole thing. Our son never dated Amanda Porter and met her when he was attending Iowa State University and answered an add in the newspaper for a luxury Apt in which he happened to move in with three female roommates, one of whom being Amanda. In January of 2005 Casey being a member of the Iowa National Guard was sent to Iraq in early January 2005 and Hailey was born on January 16th. After Hailey was born a promise was made to Casey that we would always keep his daughter safe, because Casey found out too late what Amanda was capable of. We would now like to say to our beloved son Casey who gave his life in defense of his county on June 11th, 2005, "Casey, the promise has been kept and Hailey's future is now secured."
We also had a second son, Justin, who at the time of Casey's death was a member of the Iowa Reserves and was home on leave and scheculed to also go to Iraq in a week. It took over a week to get our son Casey back from Iraq and after 8 days on the following Sunday he finally came home. On Monday night the day after we got Casey back our second son Justin was killed in an accident. On Tuesday we had Casey's wake, on Wednesday we had Casey's funeral. On Thursday we had the day off. On Friday we had Justin's wake, and on Saturday we had Justin's funeral. During Casey's funeral it came out in the newpapers that we were going to to take him to Arlington National Cemetary for his final resting place. The Article continued by saying that it was "Too Bad" that Justin would never make it there. Well I always told by children,"Never let anyone tell you that you can't do something." During the two funerals I had many high ranking military officers, Senators, Congressman say to me "If there is anything that I can ever do for you just let know,"
So we contacted Congressman Stever King in Iowa and he helped us get through all the red tape to get them put together. In Arlington there is room for the souldier and his spouse, so we just went on the pretense that if you don't let us put his brother with him you will never use it for anyone. We were alittle unsure if we were actually doing the right thing, but then we got a call from Arlington giving us the date when we bring Justin out. That date was Aug 3rd, which would have been Casey's 23rd birthday. What better present could we give him then his brother.
In Sept 2006 Amanda brought Hailey to us asking us to take care of her for awhile which we did. In January 2006 Amanda didn't have anywhere to go as her mother had kicked her out so she also came to live with us. In Oct of that year we decided to sell our acreage and house, because it just wasn't the same without the boys. So we bought a truck and 5th wheel camper and headed for Texas with Amanda and Hailey. After the winter we went to a Cabin which we owned on the Missouri River on the Nebraska side and stayed there. After having Amanda with us for a year and a half we got to know her very well. Ann tried really hard to guide her and attempt to teach her how to be a good mother to Hailey, but Amanda just didn't seem to care about anyone or anything except Amanda. She would have been perfectly satisfied with sitting on our couch until Hailey was 18 yrs old. So we finally sat her down one day and told her that we were going back to texas in Oct but she was not comming with us. We told her that we would buy her a house, would pay the taxes on it, but she would have to get a part time job to enable her to pay utilities and such. She stated to us at this time, "I'm not working." She called her mother whom she had not spoken to in a year and a half and had her come and get her and Hailey the next day. This was June 11th 2007, the second aniversery of Casey's death.
We got to see Hailey a couple of times after that, but then Amanda decided to cut us off. In Sept 2007 we decided to try to find them being concerned about how Amanda was taking care of her. Hailey had some medical conditions and there were previous situations when they lived with us of Amanda not taking care of them. So we sought an attorney to help us. During Casey's funeral we met a young women named Angela Campbell out of Des Moines who had once dated Casey. So we sought her out for her help. Given the history that we had given her concerning Amanda she was able to go before a judge and achieve an exparte order givng us tempory custody of Hailey.
So we had the court order in hand and only had to find them. We knew what town they live in (Nevada Iowa) but did not know where. So Ann and I went searching. We drove around the town for hours hoping to just spot her taking out the garbage or something. No luck, Ann became discouraged so I took her back to the motel and I decided to drive around some more. After a couple more hours I too became discouraged and also went back to the motel, told Ann that I was going to take a nap. Now if you wish to believe this or not doesn't really matter but duing my nap my son Casey came to me in a dream and said "Dad go to the Sherriffs office". We had known that Amanda was currenlty living with a guy named Stuart Corson and that the Nevada Police Dept along with us was supposably looking for them. So I got up, told Ann that I would be back and headed for the sheriff's office When I arrived at the sheriffs office I informed the lady clerk who I was and what I was doing and trying to accomplish. She said to me. "just a minute" and soon came back and informed me that the Nevada police dept had arrested Stuart Corson the previously night and the neighboring county had come and picked him up early in the morning because they also had a warrent on him for theft. She said, "here is his address". So I want back to the Nevada Police Dept and told them "ok, here is my court order, here is his address, so lets go get my granddaughter."
All this time I thought that the Police Dept and the Sherriffs office were coordinating there search together, but learned otherwise So the Police chief took me in his office and informed me that even though I had a court order if Amanda refused to give me Hailey that there was nothing I could do. But he informed the officer that was going with me to look around in the house to make sure there was not any animal fecess and the place was liveable.So I looked at the Officer who was to go with me, who looked like he just graduated 8th grade and off we went. Arrived at Amanda and Stuart's house knoced on the door and Amanda answered. Emmediately Hailey stepped out from behind her, with a big black eye. I asked her what happed to Hailey and her reply was, "She ran into a table". I looked at the officer, he shook his head so I picked up Hailey and off we went.
After we got Hailey we had learned that Amanda had actually allowed Hailey to go to lunch unsupervised with a guy who was listed on the Iowa Sex offenders list. We emmediately contact our attorney Angela Campbell and she informed us that we should get a sex exam on Hailey. The only way to do this was to get a referral from good old DHS.
We were not greeted with alot of hospitality there. We informed them of the reason for the exam request and they told us that unless Amanda let him stay overnight that they could not do anything to her. After getting the referal and prior to leaving we said to the Supervisor Kathy Doyle and Worker, Jennifer Welton that there was another child in that home by the name of Spencer Corson and they should be concerned about him. The reply we received from this was, "We are not a preventative agency".
Then we took Hailey back to Texas with us. (to be continued)
November 21st, 2011, 12:54 AM
We heard nothing from Amanda untill March 2008 when we were informed that we had to go back to Iowa for a custody hearing. We Went to the hearing and because the Iowa DHS said that Amanda's home was safe and the judge informed us that if we agreed to give her back that we could at least get visitation of the first five days every month but that if we didnt' agree he was going to return her anyway we were forced to agree with this. So we reluctantly returned Hailey on the 7th of April 2008. On the 13th of April Spencer was admitted to the hospital the first time when Amanda injured him. We were never informed of this. DHS did their half ass investigation and the case was founded for abuse and neglect. Amanda had admitted that she was the sole caretaker at the time, but they list the responsible party as perpatrator unknown. Learned during the trial that this is where Amanda came up with the seizure defense. When Spencer was in the hospital in April with bleeding on the brain he did have a seizure in the emergency room. But like the Dr who testified for the state of Iowa in her trial said, "Well you hit me on the head hard enough I would have a seizure too."
Then in May Spencer is again hospitalized for malnutrition. Could someone please tell me how a child who is fed through a tube gets malnutrition. The Defense tried to blame this on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, but again the experts for the defense explained that fetal alcohol syndrome is the failure to thrive in the womb and out the womb. But when placed in the hosp for the malnutrition Spencer gained 4 1/2 lbs. So that is twice that she tries to kill him. What does DHS do.....they initiate a CHINA which is Child in need of Assistance. What happens neither Stuart Corson or Jessica Revera bothered to even show up. Ann Has over 30 yrs experience of Social Work in the state of Iowa and has never seen a case where if neither party bothered to even show up for the hearing that they didn't remove the child emediately. But what happens, Spencer and Hailey are left in the home, and the trial is posponed for two weeks. Spencer is then murdered by Amanda three days before the next hearing. DHS could have saved this child and if there is any program that deserves to be abolished in Iowa it is the DHS. Of course they get off scott free. All there records were not even let into the trial because state protects state I guess. When Spencer dies we are never even notified of it I found out looking at Stuart Corson
's myspace page on June 29 which read "My Little guy is gone forever." Since we had visitation we go to Iowa to pick up Hailey on July 1st 2008 for our scheduled visit. Amanda isn't there but Stuart is. Never mentions anything about his son dying and just hands over Hailey to us. So we go back to our Cabin In Nebraska and again contact our attorney who again goes before a judge and gave up custody of Hailey once again. So we return to Texas where we now live with Hailey and again in September 2008 we have to go to court again. Hailey if given an Attorney ad litem by the name of Gerald Moothart from Ames, Iowa who is suppose to be acting in Hailey's best interest. What does he do? Since Amanda has not been charged with any crime yet he reccomends that Hailey be returned to Amanda. So we are ordered to return Hailey to Amanda but are given two weeks to do this because Hailey was in Texas with Ann and had to return and get her. Luckly during this time the autopsy comes back in early Oct and states, Homicide, assault by another and, tramatic brain injury. So our attorney again goes before a judge and we are granted custody again until our final custody hearing. Thirteen months go by from the time of Spencer's death and still no arrest by the Story County Attorney's office. So in July 2009 Ann and I contacted the Desmoines register and a reporter by the name of Jennifer Jacobs who wrote the story that you can view above. This story had such an outcry from the public and comments that the govenor of Iowa should get involved that it was only a matter of a couple of weeks before the case was taken away from the Story County Attorneys office and given to the Iowa Attorney Generals office. But because Spencer's file was so thick with medical records and previous DHS reports it took until Jan 2010 before Amanda was finally arrested. The rest concering the trial you can also read about above.
I went and sat through the trial which was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. It is a tragedy that this young child had to suffer at the hands of such a monster for so long when there were many people who could have saved him. Who could have saved him?
1. The Iowa Dept of Human Services could have definitely saved him had they done their job. And it is too bad that there was such a massive effort to cover up their involvement and keep their mistakes hush, hush. But the individuals involved should feel ashamed because of what they did, and didn't do and I hope that it haunts them for the rest of their lives.
2. Stuart Corson could have saved him had he not been such an idiot and believed everything that Amanda told him. But not once during the whole trial did I see him or any member of his family shed a tear. I cried during the autopsy photes and evern prior to the verdict. But Stuart stood by her never believed the evidence until he heard it in court but had been previously told of the autopsy and evern spoke with the doctors. What a complete idiot. He was more interested in partying with his friends. When the autopsy came back as homicide, death by another and tramtic brain injury who did he think did it if he didn't. Have always thought that he should also be charged with something in this case and maybe now that she is convicted he should be. Stuart's mother Tina Meldrom always thought it was us making everything up just to keep Hailey and as she said when interviewed, "They just wanted to live their lives through their sons daughter" Amanda's mother also is to blame. She knew that something was not right when Amanda Arrived there that night. That is why she accounted for all of her time, taking Hailey for a walk, going to get pizza and actually lying for her on the stand. When she gave her interview to DHS after the death she said that when Amanda got there Spencer was covered up with a blanket, which seems odd because she supposably went there because it was so hot in her trailer. But of course this never came out in trial because DHS files were not allowed. And the 911 call, where Amanda and her mother are trying to decide if they want to do CPR on the poor child who was not breathing.
Listen to the 911 call placed by Deb Smith and Amanda Porter the day before Spencer Corson died.
In conclusion we would just like to say that there are no winners in this whole episode.Although our granddaughters future is now secured and we dont have to worry about her ever going back to her mother, she has lost a father who she can be very proud of, and a mother that she will be ashamed of for the rest of her life. Hailey knows little of what has happened to her mother. It took us thousands of dollars and Hailey herself had to go through 2 1/2 yrs of thearpy for what she saw her mother do, and what she herself had to go through with the abuse she received. But she is a normal little girl now and loves life and is assured no matter what she does that she is loved and will not be beaten or abused anymore. Amanda herself never really had a chance in life. She was brought up in an extremly disfunctional environment where she was abused both physically and mentally and its true what they say, "The apple doesn't fall far from the tree". We wish to thank the few individuals who actually helped us in this battle for justice. Judge Dale Ruigh who had the wisdom to go with his heart, not once but twice to protect an innocent child. Jennifer Jacobs, Des Moines Register, who took the initiative to hear our story and bring it to light which led to the Iowa Attorney Generals office getting involved. (We are hoping that she did not loose her job for that because we have attempted to contact her but no reply. And it is very funny that the Des Moines resister did not cover one moment of the trial and only printed a minor notation when she was convicted. We also wish to thank our attorney Angela Campbell who fought for Hailey every step of the way and too bad that Casey died. Would have been proud to have you as a daughter-in-law.
And we would also like to thank Doug Hammerand , Denise Timmins and Candis Lockart of the Iowa Attorney Generals office for the great job that they did on such a complicated case.
And we thank God who listened to our prayers and kept us strong to enable us to get through all this and still have alittle sanity left.
And for the indivuduals who either refused or were too ignorant to think that sweet little Amanda could have done something like this, including members of our own family we have little to say. We have no regrets and would do the exact same thing over again because we promissed Casey and have kept that promise. There are many that should feel ashamed here but we are not one of them......Can you say the Same?
The Byers Email: abbyers_103Yahoo.com
Casey Byers, Hailey Byers, Justin Byers
November 21st, 2011, 01:32 AM
Thanks for the story, Mr Byers, but what does it have to do with Spencer?
November 21st, 2011, 01:43 AM
I think it's more backstory on Amanda Porter, er...Val:P (That's gonna be a tough nick to break). They have insight on what was going on, although they are only related to Hailey.
November 21st, 2011, 01:57 AM
Deleted due to being duplicate.
November 21st, 2011, 02:23 AM
Deleted due to being a duplicate.
November 21st, 2011, 03:09 AM
Deleted due to being a duplcate...
November 21st, 2011, 03:24 AM
I am sorry Spencer lost his life. DHS did fail, but ultimately Amanda chose to do what she did because she is evil. Plenty of people have grown up hard and not done what she did. That your wife tried to help her become a better mother is to her credit. Amanda couldn't become better because she just didn't have it. I am so thankful that your son was Haileys's dad, and that you were her Grandfather. Some would never have tried as long and as hard as you did to ensure her safety, and for that you are a true hero in this messed up situation. Rest assured that your sons, both of them, are extremely proud of you and their mother.
November 21st, 2011, 03:36 AM
In all of this, until you wrote, Mr. Byers, no mention has been made of what exactly was going on with Spencer's father. I believe he should be charged as well. Whether out partying or working long hours, he was neglecting his son and blindly trusting his welfare to a woman who didn't deserve that trust. When he should have been made aware -- when Spencer was hospitalized and there was no excuse anymore for lack of awareness -- he continued to do nothing. That is not a father. His son needed him to be in his corner, to be aware of his treatment and his injuries, to make the pain stop.
You've now filled us in on Amanda's background, but I still have to ask, "What in the living hell was Stuart's problem?"
November 21st, 2011, 03:37 AM
*applause* A big hug and thanks to Bill Byers and his wife for ultimately getting the ugly bitch Amanda Porter arrested which lead to a much deserved conviction!
Best wishes to your life with your sweet grand daughter you fought (fighting) so hard for.
November 21st, 2011, 04:54 AM
Thank goodness Hailey had you guys on her side.
November 21st, 2011, 09:12 AM
I guess only Stuart can answer that and he will have to live with what he did and didn't do for the rest of his life.....Bill Byers
November 21st, 2011, 09:22 AM
Thank you so much for coming and sharing your story with us. It's good to know that even with poor Spencer, at least some good came out of it for one of the case. Thank you for caring enough to go through all the trouble of getting custody of your granddaughter!
November 21st, 2011, 10:23 AM
This witch should be fried. What she did to Spencer was unthinkable. God bless the grandparents for stepping up and never giving up on Hailey. God bless you, Grandma and Hailey as you live your lives. Hailey is a very lucky little girl to have such awesome Grandparents who never gave up on her. Your sons are in Heaven smiling down on you and proud beyond words. Hailey's father would be so proud.
November 21st, 2011, 10:02 PM
When Spencer was life flighted to the hosp in April it was three days after he was returned to Amanda and Stuart from his Mother who had him over the weekend and returned him on Sun. Spencer was injured on Wednesday. But Amanda pointed the finger at Jessica in an attempt to throw the blame off of her and it worked. DHS then required Jessica and family could only see Spencer with supervised visits. In Iowa supervised visits are not free and Jessica and family just could not afford them. You can thank good old DHS for that. They wanted to remove the Reverias from the picture because they were complaining about how Spencer was being treated.....You cross DHS and they don't get mad....they get even and we speak from personal experience.
January 13th, 2012, 08:48 AM
27You are hereHome » News » Ames and Story County
8:00 am - January 09, 2012 — Updated: 3:57 pm - January 09, 2012
The short, sad life of Spencer Corson
Spencer Corson, 3, died June 24, 2008. His father’s girlfriend, Amanda Porter, was convicted of first-degree murder in his death.
Hailey Byers’ grandparents took this photo of her to document their claims that she was being abused.
By Luke Jennett
In 2005, two children are born into the world.
A little boy, and a little girl.
Neither arrive to good circumstances. The little boy is born sick and small, five weeks early, with a host of medical problems, including a cleft palate. Mom is an 18-year-old high-school student. Dad will, within a few years, be charged with felony burglary, although he will plead to a serious misdemeanor.
The little girl is the product of a one-night drunken encounter between two roommates who didn’t know each other well before and didn’t like each other much after. She’ll never meet her father; he’ll die in Iraq before she’s born. And Mom … Mom has some problems.
Two separate lives marked by medical problems, by state intervention, by custody battles. By people who loved them, and who wanted the best for them.
In 2008, at the age of 3, a little girl is rescued, and a little boy dies violently.
This is the story of the short, sad life of Spencer Corson — how the people who tried to help him failed, and how his death might have saved someone else’s life. It’s the story of a murder that might have been prevented, and how two lives were connected in the most terrible of ways.
By an act of unthinkable cruelty.
Dianna Rivera loved her grandson.
She didn’t always love the idea of him, she admits. In 2004, she learned that her daughter, Jessica Rivera, and her daughter’s boyfriend, a guy named Stuart Corson whom Dianna didn’t much care for, had been physical together. The day she learned about it, she took her daughter home and handed her a pregnancy test.
Jessica said she didn’t want it. Dianna insisted.
“I had a feeling,” she says.
Years later, the memory of it makes her smile a little.
“She’s young, and he’s young, so of course,” she says. “Sure enough, it was positive.”
The next few months were difficult. Jessica is a small girl, and the doctors classified the pregnancy as high-risk. The tension between mother and daughter strangled off communication. Eventually they were told to expect that Jessica’s baby will be born with Down syndrome.
“We were prepared for that,” Dianna says. “Whatever happens, he’s a child, he has to be loved and cared for.”
Her face lights up when she talks about his birth. In certain ways, Spencer was a miracle child. For all the problems he was born with, it wasn’t nearly as severe as the doctors had predicted.
“He was a beautiful, wonderful child,” she says.
Like his mom, Spencer was tiny. Five pounds, four ounces. He had a cleft palate that would require special feeding throughout his life, and later have to be fixed with surgery. He had a horseshoe kidney, a heart murmur and lung problems. But all that was for later. On that day, Dianna held her grandson in her arms for the first time and he was perfect.
“After I saw him, I wasn’t mad anymore,” she says. “It just touched my heart. It just melted me. He was just baby Spencer.”
She thinks of him, and the smile lingers. But only for a little while.
“I just can’t understand how anybody could ever hurt him,” she says.
Casey Byers was a student at Iowa State University in 2004. In what must have been a difficult conversation, he explained to his father, Bill, what had happened: a one-night rendezvous with a girl he barely knew resulted in a pregnancy he never expected.
Her name was Amanda Porter, one of three female roommates Casey happened to fall in with when he decided he didn’t want to live in the dorms. They weren’t close, Bill Byers said, they never actually dated.
Casey wouldn’t have known, for instance, that in February of 2004, Amanda Porter was charged with third-degree kidnapping in Woodbury County. She would ultimately plead guilty to child stealing, for which she would receive three years of probation.
Casey did try to get to know the woman who would be the mother of his child. But what he learned, he didn’t care for. In the end, he decided he didn’t want anything to do with her, Bill Byers said.
Casey was a soldier in the National Guard, and while Amanda was pregnant he volunteered to be deployed to Iraq. She gave birth while he was away. He died in Iraq in June 2005. He never met his daughter, Hailey.
But that didn’t mean he didn’t care for her.
There was a list, Bill Byers says, of 10 things Bill and his wife, Ann, were supposed to do if the worst happened and their son didn’t make it back to them.
“At the top of that list is, always keep Hailey safe,” Bill Byers says. “We made that promise, and we would have spent every penny we had to keep it. But it wasn’t easy.”
They never knew Amanda Porter, but after Casey died they reached out to her. There was some friction. They were concerned that Hailey hadn’t gotten her inoculations as Amanda claimed, and eventually they took her to get them.
Finally, in January, they decided to ask Amanda to bring Hailey and live with them in Schleswig, in western Iowa. At the time, Amanda and their granddaughter were living in low-income housing with some other people; before that, they’d been living out of Amanda’s car. Partially, they hoped they could help teach Amanda how to be a good mother. But they also wanted to keep their promise to their son, even if that meant keeping Amanda under their own roof.
It was about this time that someone noticed the money was missing.
As the child of a soldier who died in war, Hailey was given a $100,000 trust by the U.S. government in November 2005. Porter was one of the conservators of the account. Her mother, Deb Smith, was the other. Any expenditures from the account required the signatures of both. In theory, at least.
By January 2006, someone had found out that several thousand dollars had been removed from the account. Only one person – Amanda Porter – had signed out the money. In the final tally, Porter had spent $42,000 of her daughter’s inheritance in a matter of weeks.
“She couldn’t account for a penny of it,” Bill Byers says.
That was the beginning of the Byerses’ relationship with Amanda Porter. By the end of it, they would fight their way through a vicious custody battle in an attempt to save their granddaughter, an attempt that might have failed but for their ability to pay for lawyers and investigators. And even then, it still might not have succeeded.
But for Spencer.
For the Riveras, it was the best of times.
Stuart Corson and Jessica Rivera had tried to make it work, but by the time Spencer was three months old, they were fighting all the time. They finally called it quits, and Jessica took Spencer to live at Dianna Rivera’s home.
It wasn’t easy, raising Spencer. He still had his challenges. His cleft palate wouldn’t be repaired until he was a year old, and in those early months he had to be fed from a bottle with a special nipple. They had to hold him with his head tipped down, and sometimes the formula would run out his nose. He had to use a nebulizer sometimes, and it became apparent that he wasn’t developing as fast as a normal child would.
It didn’t matter.
“We saw him for who he was, not for his health issues,” Dianna says. “He was Spencer. He was always smiling. He loved his mama.”
When Jessica started working, Dianna stepped in to help out, and she and Spencer bonded. And there were others, a roster of “Spencer’s special helpers,” physical therapists and nurses, people who would teach Spencer about sounds and motor skills.
He walked later than other children, but he did walk, and by the time he was 2 he was running, zipping around the house with other kids who’d come to visit, and toddling after their dog, Fifty, whom Spencer took as a special friend.
“It was beautiful,” Dianna says. “He wasn’t running into stuff. I don’t understand why they would lie about that.”
Dad was in his life, too. Stuart and Jessica were having a custody fight and ended up going through a mediator who suggested they share Spencer, each family taking him one week at a time.
But trouble came in June 2006. Spencer went to the hospital to have his palate repaired. They were supposed to have him up to a certain weight by the time the operation was scheduled to occur, Dianna says, but when they checked him into the hospital, he was underweight.
“We tried our hardest, and it wasn’t happening fast enough,” she says.
The hospital called the Iowa Department of Human Services, which sent representatives to talk to the doctors and, based on that, filed a “founded report of abuse” against Jessica for failure to provide adequate food. It was the first time DHS would enter into Spencer’s short life. It wouldn’t be the last.
“They thought it had to be somebody’s fault,” Dianna says. “It wasn’t. He had a hole in the roof of his mouth.”
(No one from the DHS was willing to talk about Spencer’s case for this story. A spokesperson for the DHS said that on the advice of the prosecutor in Amanda Porter’s murder case, the agency would not be releasing any documents or statements regarding Spencer Corson.)
Things were still good, though. Spencer was growing. But Jessica was young, and she made a mistake; she fell for a guy she met online and wanted to move to Missouri with Spencer. Stuart balked. In the end, she signed papers giving Stuart custodial guardianship of the child. Dianna only found out later.
“I wish she hadn’t done it,” Dianna says. “I wish she would have said, ‘OK, if he can’t go, I won’t go.’ But that’s not what happened.”
Stuart was good about it. He let Dianna take Jessica’s visits. Four or five months later, Jessica was back, but by then she was only allowed weekend visits with Spencer. Spencer spent most of his time with his dad.
And his dad’s new girlfriend, Amanda Porter.
Amanda Porter’s parenting lessons at the hands of the Byers hadn’t worked out so well.
Later, when the custody battle went to court in September 2007, their affidavits would paint a chilling portrait of what Amanda was like while living under their roof. Ann Byer told the court that she saw Amanda slap and hit Hailey in the face and on the back on several occasions. They tried to teach her less harmful ways to deal with the child, and for awhile the methods stuck, but in the end Amanda would go back to raising her hand against the girl.
Twice, Ann Byers said, a neighbor found Hailey wandering around outside their trailer, crying because she couldn’t find anyone. The neighbor would take the girl to Bill and Ann, and they would go back inside to find Amanda surfing the Internet in the computer room.
Amanda wasn’t keeping up with her repayment to Hailey’s trust fund, either; shortly after the lost money was discovered, she and Deb Smith were both stripped of their power to withdraw from the account.
Once, Ann Byers says, Amanda asked her what would happen to the trust fund if Hailey were to die.
Bill Byers told the court that he once saw Amanda violently shaking the girl as they stood in the middle of the road in the trailer park. In another incident, at the couple’s cabin in Nebraska, Hailey was playing with the neighbor’s dog as Amanda stood five feet away from her. Bill looked over and saw that the dog’s chain had gotten wrapped around Hailey’s neck, and she was being choked.
Amanda was just watching, he says.
The final straw, Bill Byers says, was when they offered to buy her a house. The deal they gave her was that they would pay for the house and all the expenses, but she had to get at least a part-time job to help pay for the utilities.
“She looked at us and said, ‘I’m not working,’” he says. “She called her mom the next day, and her mom came to our cabin and picked her up. She hadn’t talked to her in a year and a half.”
Amanda was out of their lives, and so was Hailey. Their contact with their granddaughter started to become less frequent. They would keep her for a week or so. Twice, when they tried to return her, they couldn’t find Amanda anywhere, and so kept her another week. Soon, Hailey started to develop abscesses, and her personality started to change. Word reached the Byerses that Amanda was dating David Buchwald, a sex-offender convicted of lascivious acts with a child, and that she’d let him take Hailey to dinner with another woman without being there to supervise.
By the time they filed court papers seeking guardianship, the Byerses hadn’t seen Hailey in three weeks. Amanda and her mom weren’t returning their phone calls. They believed Hailey’s welfare, and her life, were in danger.
The same month, DHS started to investigate Amanda. Bill and Ann told a caseworker that the last time they’d had Hailey, she’d had a black eye and bruises and welts over her lower body. They even provided officials with photos of the marks. It took DHS eight days to track down Amanda and Hailey, who by then were living with Stuart Corson and his son, a boy the same age as Hailey named Spencer, in a trailer in Story City.
When asked about the bruises, Amanda said Hailey had been playing in the living room and had hit the side of her face on a table. She said she wasn’t aware of any bruise on Hailey’s legs.
In the end, the caseworker found there wasn’t credible evidence that Hailey was being abused. The abuse allegation was officially deemed unconfirmed.
In less than a year, Spencer Corson would also reportedly run into a piece of furniture at their home. Amanda would tell a caseworker that Spencer bruised very easily, that he was very clumsy and fell down a lot. She would also say the bruises on his neck came from Spencer falling down and being hit by an opening door. Pictures of the dark, ugly mark the injury left would end up being shown to a jury, along with other photos of injuries inflicted on the child.
The photos were among those taken at his autopsy.
In April 2008, Spencer had a good weekend.
He went to his mom’s, and Mom took him to a birthday party. He ran around and played with other kids and had fun. Then it was back to his dad’s place. Later, Amanda Porter and Stuart Corson would say something seemed off with Spencer, that he wasn’t himself.
Then on April 16, Spencer got hurt very badly.
There were two witnesses: Hailey Byers and Amanda Porter. Hailey had been living with her grandparents in Texas, but just a week earlier the courts made them give her back to Amanda. The story Porter gave authorities later was that she was in the bathroom and had left the two 3-year-olds to play in the trailer in Story City. At some point, she said, Spencer must have climbed up on the back of the couch and fallen. When she came out of the bathroom, Spencer was having a seizure.
Amanda did not call 911. She did not rush the seizing child to the emergency room. She didn’t even call Stuart, instead sending him a text message.
Stuart was in Ames then. The words popped up on his phone saying that he needed to get home, that something was wrong with his son.
Stuart got home and found Spencer screaming, his body stiff like he couldn’t move, his eyelids fluttering. The family went to the emergency room, where Spencer was found to have a small subdural hematoma, bleeding on his brain. It wasn’t evident at first, but a later analysis of his X-rays showed a tiny fracture in his skull.
Dianna and Jessica Rivera went to the hospital as soon as they could. They’d met Amanda Porter before, as they’d traded off Spencer for a weekend. Something about the woman had always seemed off to Dianna. It wasn’t that she didn’t care for her, it was just that she wasn’t friendly. In all their interactions, Dianna says, she couldn’t recall Amanda ever speaking to her, not so much as a hello or a goodbye. Nothing at all.
The Byerses might have told her. They knew Amanda as well as anyone by then.
“She’s a sociopath,” Bill Byers said. “No remorse, no guilt. I’ve never seen her cry. Amanda doesn’t care about anybody or anything except Amanda.”
But Bill Byers and Dianna Rivera had never met, and they wouldn’t until it was far too late to save Spencer’s life.
Meanwhile, Dianna was confused. She had heard Amanda tell the authorities that Spencer had suffered a seizure, something he’d never had before in his life.
“Actually, it all started when he came back from their house,” says Dianna, remembering Amanda telling medical workers, openly pointing at her and Jessica.
Amanda said Spencer must have gotten hurt over the two days he had spent in Jessica Rivera’s care – a story that might seem plausible enough, given that at this point Jessica had been written up for child abuse by DHS. It wouldn’t be until much later, when Dr. John Paschen, Spencer’s pediatrician, took the stand at Amanda Porter’s trial that Dianna and Jessica would learn, along with the rest of the family, that the injuries Spencer had suffered could not have been caused by a fall from a couch, that the injury had to have been intentional and recent.
In the two short months left of Spencer Corson’s life, no one would ever be able to conclusively say what had caused his seizure other than, possibly, trauma to the brain.
Dianna didn’t know that then, but she knew enough. She knew Spencer got hurt. And she knew who hurt him. And when his time at the hospital was up, and Spencer was set to be returned to his father’s home, to Amanda’s home, she knew she had to help him.
All told, Bill Byers said, he and Ann spent $40,000 over four years trying to save their grandchild from Amanda Porter.
“I feel bad for the Riveras because we were able to do it because we had some money,” he says. “We were able to get a good lawyer and hire investigators.”
Bill is now a retiree, and Ann works for the school system in Texas. The money they used was from the life insurance payout from Casey’s death. They don’t have any regrets about spending it.
“Casey would have wanted us to do whatever we could,” Bill says.
But in April 2008, despite the best efforts of their lawyer, they still had to give Hailey back to her mother, Byers says.
The Riveras are blue collar to the core. There was no money for lawyers or investigators. They needed the system, and the people in it, to listen to them, to believe them. But it hadn’t worked, and now, in April, Dianna Rivera was growing desperate.
It’s a moment in time, something she thinks back on with frustration and residual anger. Dianna Rivera confronted Stacie Pratt, the caseworker with DHS who, when Spencer was released from the hospital, sent him back to the home where he was hurt, to the woman who was supposed to be watching him.
“It was a confrontation,” Dianna admits. “I specifically asked her, ‘Why did you put him back in that home? He’s in danger in that home. He got so badly hurt he had to be life-flighted!’ And she tries to tell me, ‘Well, we did an investigation. That home seems to be fine.’ Well, it’s not the home that hurt him!”
Dianna Rivera begged Pratt: Take him from there. Give him to someone else. Anyone. Put him in foster care. Just don’t leave him alone with her again.
“She told me that the doctors in April told her that this was accidental,” Dianna says. “I found out later – we all found out later – that the doctors had said this was no accident. She lied to my face.”
Dianna says Pratt told her it was she, Dianna, who was unsafe for Spencer. Pratt said she knows they smoke marijuana at their home. Amanda Porter and Stuart Corson have told the DHS that. There are also allegations of spousal abuse, and the two DHS referrals against Jessica Rivera, Spencer’s mom.
Dianna asked, “Are you saying I won’t get to see my grandson again?” And Pratt told her, “No, I’m saying you’ll never be alone with him again.”
“It took everything I had not to jump over that table,” Dianna says. “I popped up, turned around and I walked out. It took everything I had.”
Before she went, Dianna gave in to her frustration. She turned and shouted at Pratt, “I’ll see you in court!”
* * *
In May 2008, Spencer sent back to the hospital for several days. He was checked out for what the doctors would later call “failure to thrive,” meaning he wasn’t putting on any weight. Strangely, they noted, while he was at the hospital, with his feedings done by heath professionals, he gained weight just fine. He also was examined for the seizure disorder Amanda Porter insisted that he had. They were unable to find anything.
Dianna didn’t know Spencer had gone back to the hospital until her friend told her that she read about it in the newspaper. By then, it was June, the last month of Spencer’s life. Dianna wrote DHS a letter and begged the agency again to please protect her grandchild, to take him from that home.
“I’m asking you to put aside what you think about me and my household and investigate this,” she wrote to Stacie Pratt, the caseworker. “When I was in your office, you said that you wanted to protect this child … You’re protecting him from the wrong people.”
But it was no use. Nothing, not the Byerses’ lawyers, not Dianna’s letters, convinced DHS that Amanda Porter was dangerous. And then, on June 4, 2008, the state held a Child in Need of Assistance hearing in Story County to determine whether access to Spencer should be cut off.
The petition was filed against Jessica Rivera.
Jessica had been allowed only supervised visits with Spencer since April. Based on Amanda Porter’s assertion that Spencer had come back from his weekend with his mother with a bruise on his face, and then started having undiagnosable seizures, the state believed Jessica was the one who hurt him.
The hearing was held on the matter, and Story County Judge Thomas Hronek ordered that a social investigation be conducted and a dispositional hearing should be set for June 27, 2008.
By then, of course, it was too late for anyone to save Spencer.
Everything that’s known about his death are the things that happened before, and the things that happened after.
The moment itself was lost.
On June 23, 2008, Amanda Porter and Stuart Corson were living together at their home in Story City with Hailey Byers and Spencer Corson, two 3-year-old children. Stuart worked nights, slept days. He’d had the day off that day and spent the entire evening with a friend, listening to music and hanging out.
On that evening, it was just the three of them at home: Spencer, Hailey and Amanda.
Bill Byers believes Amanda killed Spencer at the trailer in Story City, and then bundled his body up in a blanket before grabbing Hailey and driving to her mother’s home in Nevada. Amanda said it was too hot in her trailer for the children, so she took them to her mother’s.
Deb Smith, Amanda’s mother, told the DHS investigators at the hospital that she never checked on Spencer after Amanda put him down to sleep in a bedroom at her house. Amanda told them Spencer had fallen asleep on the drive there, but at 6:30 p.m., when they were alone in the house, she sat him up to feed him his bottle and he’d said “hi” to her, but he’d been sleepy and just wanted to lie back down.
Smith had taken Hailey to get pizza around 6:30 p.m., and then they both left to walk Smith’s dog around 7:30 p.m. for about half an hour. That night, Hailey slept with Smith while Amanda talked to Stuart on the phone. At around 9:45 p.m., Amanda said she checked on Spencer and found that he didn’t look right.
She took the child to Smith, who described him as limp, like a rag doll.
Smith called 911. The tape of that phone call was played for the jury at Porter’s trial, and referenced in prosecutor Douglas Hammerand’s closing arguments, as he tried to prove that Amanda fit the legal definition of having “extreme indifference to human life,” a requisite to the murder charge. In it, Porter and Smith seem to casually discuss whether they should give Spencer CPR.
The verifiable narrative resumed with the arrival of Tracy Gibson, an emergency medical worker for the Nevada Fire Department. She was the first to notice the large bruise on Spencer’s forehead. She said that when she arrived at Deb Smith’s home, the two women seemed largely unaffected as paramedics tried to save the boy who was dying at their feet.
“They were very calm, collected,” Smith testified. “They were standing at Spencer’s feet a little ways away just carrying on a normal conversation, it appeared to me. There was no upset, no tears.”
By 11:29 p.m., DHS was alerted to the case. The agency was told that Spencer’s tiny body was marked with bruises on his head, neck, arms and leg. In the report filed by DHS caseworker Jennifer Welton, two sentences seem to sum up the end of Spencer Corson’s short life.
“The parents showed very little emotion/reaction,” it reads. “It is not likely that the child will survive.”
Spencer Corson was buried June 28 at Boone Memorial Gardens.
Dianna Rivera remembers the day. And she remembers what it was like to look over, past Spencer’s coffin, to where Stuart stood with Amanda. Even then, Dianna knew that Spencer’s death was no accident. She knew that he’d been killed, and she knew who’d done it.
“That was horrifying for us,” she says. “But we held our tongue because it was a sacred event. But it was hard. It was hell.”
The police were involved by then, but Porter was still free, and that knowledge was bitter to Dianna. But worse still was the realization that her grandson had needed her to help him, to save him, and she couldn’t. That struggle had ended.
But for her, another had just begun.
“I couldn’t save my grandchild, and that will haunt me for the rest of my life,” she says. “No matter how hard I tried, no matter how hard I screamed and yelled. But I had to get that boy justice.”
Over the next two years, Dianna Rivera were Spencer’s voice. Newspapers and television stations started to learn her name from the letters she sent, from the interviews she gave. Days after Spencer’s death, she was on TV describing Spencer’s hospital stays, saying his death was no accident.
In the aftermath, Dianna and Jessica Rivera and Bill and Ann Byers found each other, two families torn apart by one woman. Their attorney used the press coverage to buy time before they had to hand Hailey back over to Amanda. The Byerses asked Dianna to help them rescue her. She said she would. Dianna went to court for them, wrote affidavits told them Spencer’s story.
In the 94-degree heat of June 23, 2009, the anniversary of his death, Dianna and Jessica Rivera were in Nevada, sweat-soaked, holding signs and shouting, “Died at three, killer still free!” for whoever would listen. By then, the Polk County Medical Examiner had determined that Spencer Corson died of abusive head trauma as a result of an assault by another person. But Amanda Porter was still walking free.
“Now I kind of understand, but at the time it wasn’t fast enough,” Dianna Rivera says of the investigation. “And I was very angry. That’s why we rallied. Our whole purpose was to give Spencer a voice. And I didn’t care who I had to piss off or what rocks I had to kick over. I didn’t care.”
Who knows what finally tipped the scales, but on January 22, 2010, more than 1 1/2 years after Spencer’s death, Amanda Porter was taken into custody without incident by the Nevada Police Department. She was charged with first-degree murder and child endangerment resulting in death.
On the MySpace page of Bill and Ann Byers, an article on the arrest appeared on their blog under their own headline, “The Monster is caged.”
But for Dianna and her daughter, it wasn’t over yet. There was still the trial, and they knew that the only way Amanda could shift blame for Spencer’s death away from herself was to try to pin it on them.
The trial finally began in November 2011. Some of the attacks were personal – Porter’s attorney, Mike Adams, alleged that Spencer’s injuries were the result of an undiagnosed seizure disorder caused by fetal alcohol syndrome suffered because of Jessica Rivera’s drinking while she was pregnant. Stuart Corson took the stand and told the jury that he saw Jessica throw Spencer into the back seat of his car.
And then there were the photos. The bruises on Spencer’s skin. His skull opened to show the blood on his brain. His eyes removed to show retinal hemorrhages that couldn’t have occurred from anything other than a shearing force.
And bad as it was, Dianna says, they were glad to have gotten there at all.
“My family and I fought the whole time to get to that point,” she says. “We fought our hardest. So I was actually relieved. We’re here, we’re finally here. I wasn’t scared of the defense at all, because I knew they were grasping for straws. And I knew that the truth would prevail.”
The jury returned with a verdict of guilty on both counts, a surprise to many, including the Riveras, whose best hope was a second-degree murder conviction. It was over. Amanda Porter is scheduled to be sentenced Friday, Jan. 13.
“It was amazing,” Dianna says. “It was like a dark cloud was lifted, and the sun was shining again.”
Somewhere in Texas, a little girl lives with her grandparents.
She goes to first grade now, and she’s becoming very smart. She plays sports, and goes to church. She goes to the Boys and Girls Club, and this Christmas her grandparents took her to Disneyland.
It’s warmer there than here, more sunshine. In her backyard there’s a swing set and a trampoline and even a pool. She’s a normal little kid in most respects. She likes Spongebob and Barbie dolls.
She is happy there.
Somewhere in Boone, a gravestone marks where a little boy was laid to rest.
And in Ames, near a playground at Brookside Park, a small tree stands. Its branches are bare now, but in spring the leaves will return, and in better days the clouds will lift and the sun will shine on it again. It was planted by the city, in remembrance. A plaque stands in front of it. Beside it are two posts to help it grow up straight.
Around its trunk is a tattered blue ribbon, tied there some time ago by a woman who remembers him, who holds him in her heart still.
She can close her eyes and see him running through her house laughing, playing, hugging the dog.
She can see his smile.
Luke Jennett can be reached at (515) 663-6922 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
January 13th, 2012, 11:12 AM
Can't wait to see what they give the monster known as Amanda Porter for her despicable actions.
January 13th, 2012, 01:39 PM
Yeah, I don't think there is justice enough for the monster. But I am wondering what in the hell was going on with Stuart? So he worked all day. That is no excuse for his complete lack of participation in his child's life. He just turned it over the Amanda and never looked again. He showed up to take Spencer to the hospital, but then he's out of the picture again. WTF did he think was going on? Did he have no suspicions? He just supported the monster whatever she did.
January 14th, 2012, 02:28 PM
Sentenced to life!
And there's a much less flattering picture with the article; I guess she likes prison food.)
January 14th, 2012, 05:26 PM
At the beginning of the hearing, Amanda Porter’s attorney, Michael Adams, grabbed a stack of tissues and put them on the defendant’s table in anticipation of the emotion of the event.
When it was over, the pile was untouched, and Adams swept them up and threw them away.
Porter said little and showed no emotion as she was sentenced to life in prison Friday.
The 26-year-old former Story City resident was convicted in November of killing 3-year-old Spencer Corson, the son of her fiancé, Stuart Corson, and Jessica Rivera.
Neither parent was present at the hearing, although Rivera, who lives out of state, sent a letter that was read by prosecutor Denise Timmins.
“For the past 3 1/2 years, I’ve had a lot of hurt and anger in my life because of what Amanda did to my son,” the letter read. “It was hard for me to sleep, and it felt like a piece of my heart was torn out, and I’ll never get that back.”
Stuart Corson’s family was represented by his mother, Tina Meldrem, who read a letter written by her own mother, Stuart’s grandmother, about the impact the case has had on the family.
“In my heart, I never thought anyone could have done something so terrible,” Meldrem read. “I keep asking myself, why did she, how could she, do something so terrible. She took away one of God’s greatest gifts to this family, Spencer. He was a very special little boy. He will never be replaced. We’ll never see him grow. He will always be forever three.”
The letter ended, “I will never forgive her. I should say may God have mercy on her, but I don’t want God to have mercy on her.”
The defense called no witnesses on Porter’s behalf, and Porter herself spoke only once, saying “No,” when asked by Judge Timothy Finn if she wanted to make a statement.
A Story County jury found that on June 23, 2007, Porter killed Spencer Corson, who had been left in her care. The child was found to have bleeding on the brain at his autopsy, injuries that experts said could only have come from inflicted abusive head trauma.
Prosecutors recommended to Finn that Porter be sentenced to the mandatory life term, plus 50 years on the second count of child endangerment resulting in death, and that the two sentences run concurrently. Adams made no recommendation.
Finn ruled that Porter would serve both sentences at the same time, saying that he believed Spencer’s death was the result of one act, and not two separate ones.
“I’m not sure how much of a difference that’s going to make because you’re going to be in prison for the rest of your life,” Finn said.
As he delivered his ruling, Finn noted the case illustrated the danger of what he said was an emerging trend of children being left in the care of paramours.
“I can’t change what happened, and I can’t change what the values of our society are, but anyone out there who has a relationship like this should be aware of this case,” he said.
Following the hearing, prosecutor Doug Hammerand said he was pleased with the verdict.
“These are tough cases because there are really no winners here,” he said.
Dianna Rivera, Spencer Corson’s grandmother, crusaded for Porter’s arrest in the months following her death, and was present to see the case of her grandson’s murder settled. But she declined to take the stand to make a statement.
“I just feel like it’s over, and I don’t really have anything to say to Amanda Porter,” Rivera said. “She’s a cold-blooded killer, and I just don’t know what I would be able to say to her.”
Is she pregnant?
January 14th, 2012, 06:07 PM
#34, above, posted by Bill Byers, is quoted from this link http://www.amestrib.com/sections/news/ames-and-story-county/short-sad-life-spencer-corson.html . Also at the link are two pictures, which I'm posting.
Spencer Corson & Hailey Byers
January 14th, 2012, 10:12 PM
Beautiful kids. So sad what they had to go thru.
I also want to applaud the Byers' because they are very invested in this and care a great deal about not only Hailey, but also Spencer and the fact that it cost him his life in order to save Hailey. I know that their son would be very proud of them. Heroism runs in that family. Dianna Rivera is also a hero in my book because she never stopped fighting to give her grandson a voice. It is a tragedy that Amanda used an unfounded accusation of abuse/neglect to cover up her actions and crimes against Spencer, but Diana and Jessica fought on.
I am glad that Hailey made it out and that Amanda got life in prison. I am also saddened that Spencer had to pay so dearly. I hope that he is with Hailey's daddy keeping him company. Fly free, little man.
January 15th, 2012, 02:04 AM
@Bill Byers (http://www.dreamindemon.com/forums/member.php?u=6840),
My heart goes out to your loss as it is so great. The loss of Casey and Justin then little Spencer, who's life was crossed with your family, touched you all then taken in such a tragic way. Your granddaughter Hailey's life will always be touched by his memory, his spirit will always remain. My hope is the coming years will bring many blessing and healing through the new memories made with Hailey as you watch her grow see her live life in part for Spencer.
Bless Hailey for her good fortune with good people. . .
and bless little Spencer who now forever graces the heavens.
May he never be forgotten.
January 19th, 2012, 02:02 AM
Would just like to reply to all of the nice comments we received by the readers regarding our story. But we are not the Heroes here. We tried when we first got custody of Hailey in Sept 2007, but the reply from DHS to us was, " We are not a preventative agency." How correct they were on that comment. Perhaps we should have done more, but were already putting 100% of our energy into trying to fullfill the promise to our son to always keep Hailey safe. Perhaps someday the entire story can be told because we believe that there was an actual coverup to just sweep the whole thing under the rug in order to minimize the actions and non-actions concerning the DHS involvement. Will this ever happen? Not unless someone with a hell of alot of power reads this and initiates a full blown investigation into the DHS failure and makes the parties involved accountable for their actions. Then Spencer Corson will have his full justice.
My Sons Casey and Justin will make sure that Spencer is looked after and will never again be the subject of violence and hatred by another. And we will make sure that Hailey continues to live a full and happy live and she will know about all this when she reaches the age of 18 when she receives ours sons Military chest filled with everything from beginning to end.
But right now she is fine thanks to 4 yrs of play thearapy which has turned her into a normal, happy child who knows she is loved, knows she is special, and knows that she is protected. She just turned 7 Jan 16th. Thank you all again.....Bill and Ann Byers
February 1st, 2012, 11:47 AM
Chief Public Defender Michael Adams has filed a motion for a new trial in the case of Amanda Kaye Porter, a woman who was convicted in November of killing her fiance’s 3-year-old child.
Adams writes in his motion that new information has come to light showing the jury may have been guilty of misconduct.
The motion is backed by a report from Deb Smith, Porter’s mother and a witness at her trial. Smith reportedly told Adams following Porter’s sentencing in January that her neighbor, Mary Breer, told her about a conversation she’d had with one of the jurors in the case during the trial.
Breer allegedly told Smith that the juror, Janet Hulse, discussed the facts of the case with her and told Breer that the jury had “made up its mind” early in the trial.
Adams said he attempted to find out if there was any truth to these allegations, but said his investigator had been unable to get into contact with either Breer or Hulse.
If Smith’s claim is true, Adams said in his motion, it could be an indicator the jury received evidence or information not authorized by the court, and would therefore be guilty of misconduct.
Adams has asked that the matter be set for a hearing so Breer and Hulse could be examined. If the story is true, Adams wrote, he will ask the court to grant a motion in arrest of judgment for Porter and give her a new trial.
Adams has also filed a notice of an appeal in Porter’s case to the Iowa Supreme Court. The grounds for the appeal were not stated.
February 1st, 2012, 01:39 PM
My mind is made up about the guilt of the sea cow, myself, but I am not a juror. I agree that they came to the right sentence and you don't have to be a rocket scientist to know she beat that kid, HOWEVER it isn't that hard to STFU.
Because someone had to bleat about what was going on there is now a slim chance that Porter will get a new trial with an Anthony jury and walk out of there a free woman.
Good job, juror. I hope you sleep okay at night.
Powered by vBulletin® Version 4.2.0 Copyright © 2013 vBulletin Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved.